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Cruise delay raises pot for 50/50 raffle

We Care benefitting from extra week to sell tickets

Published: Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 5:00 p.m. CDT

Although it was a disappointment to have to postpone Cruise Night due to the rainy, cold and windy weather last week, it was good news for the 50/50 raffle.

“The new date allows us one more week to sell tickets and grow the 50/50 pot,” said We Care’s Denise Gaska. We Care is the beneficiary of the Cruise Night that will now take place tonight, Saturday, Oct. 20. “The pot was already a large one, but with one more week to sell, we hope it will be a record-breaker!” Gaska said.

The Cruise Night 50/50 raffle is the primary benefit for the organizations that are the beneficiary for the evening. The winner of any 50/50 raffle gets half of the proceeds, while the other half goes to the organization that sold the tickets. The Morris Cruise Night raffle has raised a significant amount of money for many local organizations that have been Cruise Night beneficiaries.

Beneficiaries can sell their tickets for the month between Cruise Nights, as well as on the night of the event to those who are in attendance.

Tickets sell for $1 each, of six tickets cost $5. Each car that displays at the Cruise Night is required to purchase three tickets.The more cars that come to the Cruise, the more money the beneficiary can raise. If a Cruise Night draws 600 cars, for example, that’s another $1,800 added to the 50/50 pot.

We Care volunteers and staff have been busy selling the 50/50 tickets. The pot had grown to $6,100 by lunchtime Friday.

“The Cruise Committee told me the largest pot ever was $8,800. If the weather cooperates this weekend, and we have plenty of car enthusiasts display their vehicles and others come out to look, I think we will have no problem breaking that record,” Gaska said.

We Care has been taking a novel approach to selling the 50/50 tickets. Using the Internet as a way to reach out to donors, We Care has been thanking those who purchase at least $100 worth of the tickets on the organization’s Facebook page and adding those donors to a list of “generous donors” that gets re-posted with each new donor. A link to the donor’s business website is included when appropriate.

“This has been a very successful outreach,” Gaska said. “We have raised over $2,500 of the current pot through this approach. We also fill out all 120 tickets for you!”

Each Cruise Night beneficiary is required to coordinate the Cruise Night Food Booth, which sits at the corner of Liberty and North. Gaska said the postponement has created problems in terms of some of the volunteers from Akzo Nobel who, as a community service team project, have planned, staffed and executed all the work surrounding the food booth on behalf of We Care.

“We are so grateful for their help and their donations for the food booth! Not only are they donating the food, but they are providing all the necessary equipment, which we will get to keep and use for future events,” she said. “Their assistance with the food booth has enabled We Care volunteers and staff to focus on selling the 50/50 tickets. I feel badly that this delay will impact some of the Akzo Nobel volunteers who wanted to help but have other plans for this weekend.”

If you are interested in purchasing 50/50 tickets, you can call (815) 942-6389, ext. 4, find We Care on Facebook and send a private message stating the number of tickets you’d like to purchase, or send an e-mail with your request to denise@wecareofgrundy.com.

We Care is a local nonprofit agency that provides emergency assistance to Grundy County residents in the form of food, rent, utility and prescription assistance. We Care is a United Way partner agency and is funded primarily by private donations.

We Care is located at 520 W. Illinois Ave., in CanalPort Community Center, Morris. For more information visit the website at www.wecareofgrundy.com.

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