Sunday, February 26, 2006

Car Raffle

My dear wife, daughter Chaos and I all attended the annual car raffle that Saint Ann School holds as a fundraiser each year.

The car raffle is held on the last Saturday before Ash Wednesday. The festivities trend towards a mardi gras theme and include dinner, open bar, a DJ for musical entertainment, the main raffle, and several impromtu showstoppers.

The car raffle is a reverse raffle and they only sell 200 tickets. The last ticket left in the barrel wins the car, or $13,000. There is a $1000 prize for the 199th ticket drawn. The 196th through 198th tickets win $500 each. There are 19 other $100 prizes. Several businesses donate products or services that are awarded during the drawing.

This was our fourth year attending this event. This evening was the most fun we have had. My daughter and two of her friends were the "Vanna's" for the evening. They take turns drawing the numbers and moving numbered signs from one tally board to the other to keep track of the winners.

Dinner was catered by Victoria's - a local restaurant. The food was good. Tri-tip, chicken, fried rice, mixed vegatables, etc. The food was very good and there was plenty of it.

The last few years we didn't make plans to attend the event with other couples. Many folks do, they have a regular group that they sit with. We spent the first three years just picking an unoccupied corner table and seeing who showed up to sit with us. This year we did the same thing. However the first people to approach our table were the other two "Vanna's". Eventually three more of my daughter's classmates wandered by to visit. By the time dinner was served they had all gotten their parent's permission to sit with us. So we shared dinner with 6 middle school kids. This gave my dear wife the chance to experience one of the things I like best about spending time with these kids. The two of us just sat there quietly and ate and let the kids visit among themselves. It was very entertaining. We learned more about what goes on during a normal school day during that 45 minute meal than we hear in a week from our own kids.

The gossip was hilarious. Fortunately all the news was just amusing middleschool kid kind of stuff - who talks in class, who irritates who, which teacher gives the hard tests, who is grounded this week and what they did to deserve it, etc.

The down side of having these dinner guests was once the drawing started our "Vanna's" had to go to work and the rest of the kids wandered off to visit other friends. We were all alone. As the drawing progressed and people left, another couple who's table guests had left once their numbers had been drawn moved over to our table and spent the rest of the evening with us.

We had a lot of fun. We didn't win any of the big prizes. But then we never do. We go for the dinner and entertainment. My dear wife always explains why we never win drawings and such by saying we are lucky in love. I think she's right.

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