Utica school launches raffle, scholarship
by Luke Eggleston / Sun staff writer
St. Peter’s School in Utica and Rome Catholic School are teaming up in support of the fourth annual Dream Home Raffle this spring.
For $100, a winning ticket holder could win either a modular home donated by G&I Homes or $99,000.
St. Peter’s Director of Development Jim Jones noted that the raffle is the school’s primary fund raiser. In addition to general operations, the funds raised assist in students’ tuition. St. Peter’s also holds an annual dinner, which features guest speakers from across the country. This past year, the event included keynote speaker Rocky Bleier, former NFL star.
During its inaugural year, the fund raiser generated $28,000 for the school and in its second, $75,000. Last year, the school received $42,000. a quarter of the school’s financing comes from private fund raisers.
“It’s a very interesting fund raiser and it seems to be very popular. It benefits both schools,” said St. Peter’s Principal Judy Hauck. “We’re always looking for opportunities to create scholarships. Economic times are tough and we want to help out any way that we can.”
Jones said that Rome Catholic is excited about the program. “RCS couldn’t be more enthusiastic about it,” he said.
By including Rome Catholic, St. Peter’s has expanded its range of interest.
“It opens up some new territory for us,” Jones pointed out.
The home is one floor with three bedrooms, a dining room, two large family rooms and a kitchen complete with appliances. It also features a gas fireplace and a sliding patio door.
Last year, the school offered a scholarship promotion program to students at Notre Dame and St. Peter’s. Based on the number of tickets sold, students were eligible for a raffle, which would provide the winner with a scholarship.
This year, the contest is open to students throughout the Syracuse Diocese.
Any school in the diocese including all of the grammar schools will be able to participate in the drawing and benefit from the scholarship promotion,” Jones said.
Each time the ticket campaign reaches a 500-ticket plateau, the program will hold a drawing. In addition, more scholarships will be awarded at each 500-ticket increment. Therefore, after participants combine to sell 500 tickets, a drawing for one scholarship will be held. At 1,000 tickets, a drawing for two scholarships will be held and so on, until the 3,000-ticket mark, at which point a drawing will produce seven scholarships. Also at the 3,000-ticket mark one full scholarship in the amount $4,500 will be awarded.
The program is offering up to $45,000 in scholarships. Seniors who win any of the raffles will have their scholarship money applied to tuition at whichever college they are attending in the fall of 2009.
Elementary schools in the diocese’s Eastern Region are currently experiencing significant changes. Next year, St. Peter’s will merge with Our Lady of Lourdes in Utica and St. Mary’s in Clinton. The new school will be located near Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School and will be named Notre Dame Elementary School. In the long term, both Notre Dame and its namesake will combine in a shared building.
Hauck, who was re-assigned as principal of the new school, said she hopes to continue having the dream home raffle fund raiser. She hopes that the new school will be able to sustain the fund raiser in the new environment.
Jones, a St. Peter’s alum, said there is some regret regarding the closure of his former school, but gradually it has been replaced by a sense of anticipation.
“There’s some sadness. I think there always is when a place that’s important to you closes. I’m an alum and there’s some sadness in my heart,” he said. “But I think now there’s some excitement.”
The drawing will be held May 20 and tickets are limited to 3,000.
For more information on the contest or to obtain a raffle ticket entry form, call Rome Catholic at (315) 336-6190 or St. Peter’s at (315) 724-4708.