The original idea came from outer space … literally. When kicking around ideas for a new Eaton Area Senior Center (EASC) fundraiser, executive director Cindy Miller was told of the opportunity to win a trip to go into outer space on a rocket ship. The catch, however, is that the entity or organization offering the experience had to already own a ticket for such a trip at a cost of $250,000.
Anyway, Miller said she knew she wouldn’t want to go to outer space, but she would be interested in winning a new home. Of course, the Eaton Area Senior Center does not own a house to raffle off either. It is, however, offering ticket holders the opportunity to win up to $200,000 that could be put towards the purchase of a new home.
Dream Big, Win Bigger raffle tickets can be purchased for $25 and offer the chance to win up to $200,000 for first prize, up to $30,000 for second prize and up to $20,000 for third prize. The number of tickets sold will determine prize amounts.
To hit the $200,000 jackpot, the Center must sell 20,000 tickets. It sounds like a large goal to hit, but organizers aren’t limiting themselves to the local community. They plan to use the power of social media to spread the word throughout Michigan. In addition, the drawing won’t take place until Oct. 22, 2016, giving organizers more than a year to sell tickets.
“With the number of people on Facebook in Michigan alone, if we sold to slightly less than 1 percent of them, we’d sell 20,000 tickets,” Miller said.
For each ticket sold, the Center receives $12.50 immediately, said Dream Big, Win Bigger raffle committee chair and EASC board member, Aimee Robles.
“We needed to do something new and different,” Robles said. “This is a no cost way to raise money that gives anyone the opportunity to be involved.”
Robles represents what Miller said the Center needs more of — non-seniors who want to get involved.
“I think my favorite comment came from our board president who said, ‘thank you for being the only member on the board not collecting Social Security,’” Robles said.
She got involved because her family enjoys some of the events and regular lunches held at the Center. She said it is becoming a great place for family events, not just for seniors.
“I love it when young people come in here,” Miller said. “Our seniors want to spend time with their families, so we’ve started more family oriented activities.”
In order for the Center to stick around for the long-haul, though, it needs to find creative ways for young people to not just get involved, but look to help.
The Dream Big, Win Bigger raffle presents an opportunity for EASC to raise $250,000 through a single fundraiser. Tickets will be available at the EASC booth underneath the grandstands during the Eaton County Fair. Ticket information will also be available through the Eaton Area Senior Center’s Facebook page.