You Gotta Be In It TO Win It – The 41st Annual Eden Parent Raffle
Have you heard of the annual Eden Parent Raffle?
The annual parent run raffle was created 41 years ago with the intent of providing special funding for items that were not formally part of Eden’s annual budget. The funds generated by the Parent Raffle are obtained from selling individual raffle tickets. The proceeds then go directly into enhancing the Eden School, employment and day centers, and group homes and apartments by purchasing Items which include anything from new furniture, appliances, computer equipment and school materials.
The annual raffle is put together and run by a unique group of women who all have loved ones that receive services through Eden. This band of Eden moms makes up the Eden Parent Raffle and they work passionately to supply this additional financial support to our organization.
Last year, this devoted group raised more than $60,000, surpassing their goal and beating the amount they raised last year by $10,000. The Parent Raffle sold an amazing 30,000 tickets and awarded top prizes which included a 7-day Norwegian Cruise with a $1000 gift card, Apple Watches, Mini iPads, Amazon & Visa gift cards, and prizes to visit restaurants and enjoy shopping sprees. (See full list of 2015 prizes here.)
The Eden Parent Raffle is made up of two committees, the Eden Raffle Committee (ERC) and the Raffle Distribution Committee (RDC).
The Eden Raffle Committee (ERC) is comprised of the following Eden moms who organize all the details of the raffle and secure all the first-rate prizes: Maria Lisa Sammons, Elaine Gischlar, Tara Murphy and Toni Andors.
The Raffle Distribution Committee (RDC) is comprised of: Maria Lisa Sammons, Elaine Gischlar, Deb Ritter and Olga VanderVliet. This team is responsible for reviewing and approving request for how to use the money that is raised.
For Maria Lisa Sammons, parent to a son in the Eden school, it’s a labor of love when she talks about her work on the raffle committees. Maria Lisa recently sat down with news & updates to talk about her role in the Eden Parent Raffle. “Three years ago, I was honored with carrying on the legacy of the raffle for all of our loved ones who participate in the Eden School and Adult Programs as well as the staff who work tirelessly to care for them in ways we as parents cannot.”
As they officially kick off the start the 2016 Eden Parent Raffle this month, the team says they remain dedicated and have set a new goal to double the funds the annual raffle takes in. Within the past two years, the raffle committee has funded $100K worth of items such as furniture, gym equipment, iPads, recreation equipment, computers, etc.
Maria Lisa also commented, “I want the funds we generate to grow to $100K annually as there are many worthy requests that we have had to turn away. I take great personal satisfaction in seeing how these funds improve our loved ones’ lives.”
Elaine Gischlar, also a mom to a son in the Eden school is one of the other powerhouses behind the Eden Parent Raffle. Her dedication and her drive to get the word out on the annual raffle might only be matched by her success in securing the raffle’s top prizes. Elaine recently told news & updates how she became part of the annual fundraising effort. “Three years ago, I also joined the Raffle Committee and have enjoyed every minute. As a parent, I have a passion for opening up as many new doors as possible for ALL of our children and the staff that work with them.”
Elaine also described how Raffle proceeds are used for the funding of new teaching opportunities and new equipment. The new equipment benefits our Eden participants by allowing them to work on enhancing their employment and life skills. A few also receive new communication devices that may not have been available otherwise.
This year the team has raised the bar and has collected another incredible selection of top prizes that can be yours, all for the price of a $2.50 raffle ticket. Click the RAFFLE ticket below for a look at the lineup of prizes:
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The Raffle Committee is challenged each year with finding great prizes for the raffle ticket. If you, your business or someone that you may know, would like to donate a raffle prize: a week’s stay at a property/timeshare, electronics, a new appliance, etc. please feel free to reach out to them. In return for your sponsorship, they will advertise and promote your business through the raffle ticket, social media, email blasts and at the event. Nearly 30,000 tickets were sold locally and across the country to family and friends of Eden in 2015. Additionaly, 1,000+ people were in attendance during last year’s drawing to view the names and logos of the businesses that donated.
Raffle sponsorship is a great way to give back to Eden Autism. It also allows the opportunity for you and/or your business to be recognized! All of the money from the sale of raffle tickets goes directly to Eden’s participants.
Celebrating its 41st year in 2016, the Parent Raffle remains the longest-running fundraising event supporting Eden’s mission to improve the lives of children and adults with autism.