Catholic schools raffle raises funds for Immaculate Conception

Greatly exceeding their goal, Immaculate Conception Catholic School of Columbia Heights was able to raise a grand total of $8,370 through the 2017 Catholic Schools Raffle.

The raffle is sponsored by Catholic United Financial, a non-profit fraternal benefit society. The organization provided all promotional materials, raffle tickets and prizes for the program to the school at no cost. Immaculate Conception provided the volunteers, energy and creativity to make the most of the six-week program.

Candida Eugenio and her two daughters. Eugenio’s daughters were two of the top raffle ticket sellers for Immaculate Conception Catholic School, with one taking home an Amazon Fire HD8. (Photo courtesy of Immaculate Conception)
Candida Eugenio and her two daughters. Eugenio’s daughters were two of the top raffle ticket sellers for Immaculate Conception Catholic School, with one taking home an Amazon Fire HD8. (Photo courtesy of Immaculate Conception)

Beginning on Jan. 13, ticket sales and donations were collected by students and volunteers through Feb. 26. The raffle wrapped up on March 9 with a prize drawing ceremony broadcast live on the Catholic United Financial website. The prizes, valued at more than $40,000 total, included a brand-new 2017 Jeep, vacation and travel packages, iPads, Amazon Fire TVs, and more.

While the annual fundraiser involves more than 80 schools in three states and raised over $1,066,450 in 2017, every dollar raised by Immaculate Conception stays in Columbia Heights.

“Again this year, our Catholic Schools Raffle is proving to be one of the largest fundraisers for parochial education in the Upper Midwest. To date, over $6 million has been raised, and we are incredibly proud that 100 percent of that total has gone directly to schools like Immaculate Conception to use in supporting their educational mission,” Catholic United President Harald Borrmann said. “Congratulations to all the students, parents, faculty, administrators and neighbors who have helped make this program such an unqualified success. When so many good folks get together for a worthy cause, great things happen. Our sincerest thanks to all involved.”

Immaculate Conception has been participating in the fundraiser for the past four years.

Immaculate Conception Catholic School Principal Jane Bona said she is very thankful to everyone who participated in the fundraiser and supported the school.

“We had set a goal for $6,000 to earn, or $6,600 as a stretch goal, and we ended up earning a lot more,” Bona said. “It’s really amazing. The kids and the families of the school really came forward and enjoyed participating in this fundraiser, especially when they know that the monies are so generously given right back to the school.”

Bona gave special thanks to Catholic United Financial local representative Jim Suek. A great man to work with, Bona said Suek was very helpful every step of the way and gave many ideas to promote the raffle.

Bona also thanked all of the students and parents that participated and sold raffle tickets.

“They are so generous with their time as well, because we know that this kind of thing takes time,” Bona said. “I also want to thank all of our parishioners who always step up and support the school, so just a huge round of thanks to everyone involved.”

Catholic United also rewarded the hard work of student ticket sellers. The top-selling student at Immaculate Conception won a new Kindle Fire tablet, and the top selling class won a pizza party.

With this successful fundraiser now finished for the year, every student at the school will benefit.

The Annual Catholic Schools Raffle and Catholic United Financial have raised more than $6 million for Catholic schools in Minnesota and the Dakotas since 2009. Video, photos and a list of prizewinners and results will be available at www.catholicunitedfinancial.org/raffle.

Contact Sarah Burghardt at [email protected]