Medical expenses are frequently cited as the top reason for bankruptcies in America today. While health insurance may cover a good percentage of costly treatments, few if any plans actually pay 100% of the cost of care for serious illnesses. When that happens, families and friends may decide to rally together and plan a benefit event, using raffles to raise money and help defray expenses.
Lori and Jeffery found themselves in this situation not long ago when Jeffery was diagnosed with cancer in his throat. While insurance covered much of the initial costs of treatment, it quickly became apparent that it wouldn’t cover everything. The decision was made to hold a benefit with a raffle, door prizes and a Chinese auction to help cover the extra costs.
This was Lori and Jeff’s first time holding a fundraising event, so they had lots of questions: Where to begin? Where should they hold the benefit? Who had experience with events like this, and who could help?
They chose the local VFW hall since this was where they’d had their wedding reception 22 years earlier. The VFW offered some services, such as use of the kitchen, room for a live band, beer by the keg and a cash bar. Use of the room for four hours, the kitchen and the beer came to $200, which they were told was a discounted price. The couple scheduled a date and time (keeping Jeff’s surgery date, recovery time and treatment schedule in mind), put down a cash deposit, and printed up some flyers.
That’s when it became time to enlist family and friends to help with details big and small. One of Jeff’s cousins volunteered to use their Raffle Ticket Software and perforated paper so she could print out hundreds of 50/50 raffle tickets, Chinese auction tickets and admission tickets. Tasks such as cooking, asking local businesses for donations of door prizes, making baskets and selling tickets were delegated to others while Lori cared for Jeffery and took him to daily appointments.
With admission tickets prices set at $15 or two for $25, the 50/50 raffle and numerous door prizes, raffles and baskets for a Chinese auction, and the help of family, friends and the community, Lori and Jeffery were able to raise much-needed funds to help pay medical bills to take off some of the pressure during that stressful time. It also provided a cheerful venue for family and friends to gather together and celebrate a good time with Jeffery and Lori outside of the medical settings they were becoming so tied to.
Do you have a story to share? Have you taken part in a raffle or helped someone with ticket making? Speak up, share your experience and perhaps we’ll publish it here on this blog. You can remember a loved one or offer someone else a helpful idea. This is your chance to be a hero in a small way all over again.