Our town runs on raffles. When we first moved here I was a bit puritanical on raffles - didn't buy them and never asked anyone to buy them either. Three and a half years later, scarcely a week goes by without me buying a raffle ticket. At a quick memory flick, in recent weeks there has been the raffle for P- school because we have many friends at school there and the prizes were garden things; there was the Catholic Women's League raffle because it seemed like some kind of insult to my Mum not to; there was the local high school netball trip raffle - I know some of the players; the quilt raffle to get one of the Catholic high school students on an exchange to Australia; the flash sewing machine raffle to support a big South Island quilting conference being hosted here this winter; the stroke support group who had a trailer load of wood as one of the prizes. I can't remember whether I caved on the municipal band raffle or not. If nothing else (and there is always more gained than publicity), a raffle raises a group's profile in the community and often helps increase membership of community groups.

So far, we've one three prizes: a year's sub to the toy library and two meat packs.

But somewhere along the way, I've won a lot more than that. In a society where the supermarkets and the Warehouse overwhelmingly remit profits out of our town, community raffles involve gifts from local businesses and generous individuals, are sold by volunteers who make links with people from throughout our community and enable groups and individuals to achieve things which are unthinkable without community support. Our neighbour Jordan and his Mum sold raffles for a long time to help Jordan get to an international athletics competition in Australia last summer. Pretty exciting when you are only ten and are also very very good at discus. I loved to buy tickets for Jordan's raffles and encouraged him and his brother to bring over any new raffles to our front door.

Tomorrow I am helping sell raffle tickets outside the Warehouse for the lovely Cheryl McCabe, who is raising funds for education development in Zambia through Child Fund Challenge. Two very talented women in our community have made a beautiful quilt for the first prize. Elaine and Karen made a beautiful quilt for another project last year, to get our local high school Kapa Haka group to Australia for a big conference and concert.

I expect I'll see people I know and make links with many I do not currently know. I'm counting on Brighid's winning ways to draw some more people in and sell lots of tickets and hoping that she doesn't eschew charm and spend all her time trying to escape into the carpark. Of course we will buy some tickets and if we are incredibly lucky enough to win the quilt, it will be a family treasure, taonga, forever.


Mary said…

Just bought a raffle ticket myself on the weekend, for the other school in the neighbourhood (i.e. not the one our family attends).

Might even re-raffle off the prize if we win it to a worthy cause - not really up to going to the theatre with a little baby!
skatey katie said…
aha! sandra-in-the-garden, now i know ya - from rach "bear's" blog.
and i LOVE this SO much -
Sandra - too heavy to stand on a soapbox, but undeterred
blimmin' fabulous.

of course i say: DO IT.
pop up the marshmallows quote and watch it get into people's psyche.

although i tried to get it into my lecturer's psyche last month, but she was undeterred. didn't like me talking about home education in my essay and only gave me a B+. the reason i talked about home ed in the essay is cos i haven't been in a classroom for 17 years, so how *could* i relate the readings to the classroom (by nicking someone else's experience? i woulda thought she'd prefer me to be true to myself?).....

never mind, my art lecturer really understands the whole "starting with the child" mindset.

blah blah, not sure i've really said anything, but i've had a good vent lol.

love and sunshine
katie X

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