Tomorrow marks the end in another chapter of "Evan's Big Journey". The "Win Christmas" raffle, which will hopefully live up to it's billing and really provide a great Christmas for someone. The idea for this came back in July - we were starting to get so many "Bits&Bobs" being donated that we didn't know what to do with them. You can only really have so many raffles, so I just thought about having one massive big raffle with loads of stuff in it. (Partly inspired by the one on "The Gadget Show" each week). Get everyone to just buy one ticket, but make it worth paying a fiver for. The conditions of our raffle license mean that we can only raise £20k per draw, so that was the target. However, a good idea seemed to be to set it around a theme so, from somewhere, the idea of "WIN CHRISTMAS" popped into my head. BTW ~ contrary to what this might indicate - I am not in Marketing (no offence...).
The next step was to start "blagging" the stuff - and we had a decent start, with benefactors starting to offer items. However, we had one of the biggest, and earliest pieces of good fortune, when someone offered to buy everything we needed. This has the effect of turning the draw from a "hotch-potch" (still worth winning) to a bigger, better, prize. It also saved us so much time in sourcing the prize. The centre-piece of which is £750 of vouchers. Enough in itself to pretty much pay for Christmas... However, the execs at work have also dug deep in their collective cupboards / wine cellars and thrown in the booze (lots of it!!), a good friend is doing the turkey, another friend threw in another £50 of vouchers, another got panto tickets and Santa train ride tickets, and so it went on. Too much to mention really (full list on the website, but tickets no longer available... ). Massive, massive thanks to EVERYONE who offered something.
We took delivery of the tickets around early September and people started to sell them (thanks to everyone) but special thanks to Jo who has coordinated everything, behind the scenes and was doing Christmas shopping in October for it. Without this, and without the sellers (and the buyers, of course) it wouldn't have been a success. Which it has been, a massive success! We havent made as much as our original target, but it says so much about the whole fundraising effort that I occasionally find myself saying it has "only" made half of that target. It's actually unbelievable when we think about it - back in July, I was discussing it with my brother when we were planning it in its early stages and we reckoned "a couple of grand" would be a good result.
Anyway, back to the draw tomorrow. Fingers crossed everyone. Obviously, only one person can win it - and we hope it makes someone's Christmas in the same way that it has already made ours!
Merry Christmas ! (even if you don't win...)