You can’t fit a brand-new SUV into the backpack of a student from St. Michael Catholic School in St. Michael, but you can fit the chance to win one.
Starting Jan. 23, students will be carrying and selling raffle tickets as part of the Catholic Schools Raffle. Ticket buyers have the opportunity to win $45,000 in prizes, including a 2015 Ford Escape or $25,000 cash, vacation packages and more.
St. Michael and the other 86 schools participating will keep 100 percent of every $5 ticket sold thanks to raffle sponsor Catholic United Financial. The St. Paul-based company covers the entire cost of the prizes and promotional materials.
“If you want to support your Catholic school, this is the same as marching into the office and writing a check,” Catholic United President Harald Borrmann says. “But with the raffle, every $5 buys you a chance to win a car, a vacation, or some other really great prizes.”
More than 16,500 students from 87 participating schools in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota will sell tickets from Friday’s kickoff through March 8, prior to the official drawing at 11. a.m., on March 19 at Catholic United Financial’s Home Office in St. Paul. (Hopeful ticket holders can watch the drawing ceremony live online at wwwcatholicunited.org/raffle.)
Last year, participating schools raised a combined total of more than $1 million in just six weeks, an amount Catholic United Financial would like to repeat in 2015.
In the Raffle’s five-year existence, it has helped Catholic schools in the Upper Midwest raise more than $3 million. The money raised has allowed these schools to provide tuition assistance, improve technology and pay for special learning opportunities, such as field trips and special guest speakers.
Along with the $20,000 in ticket sale revenue it hopes to receive from the Raffle, St. Michael has a shot at winning a $3,000 grant from Catholic United if it is one of the top-three performing schools (based on the number of tickets sold per student). The company also awards the top-selling student at each school a $100 Visa gift card and a pizza party to each top classroom.