I guess it all started in June when I dropped off a check at an organization. It was a small check, but a $45 check that my daughter had wanted me to give them. I got a call the next day, thanking me and asking if I wanted to be on the committee for their next event which was coming up in a few weeks (august 2, yesterday). I said sure. I went to the meeting the following week where I was given the
They only wanted big prizes... jewelry, hotel stays, electronics.... um, you know the stuff that is just so easy to get. I went with my baby (do I have to stop calling her a baby? She's 21 months.), since I do not have a babysitter to jewelry stores, electronic stores... wherever I could think of. I've done raffles in the past, always getting from these places, but for some reason this year... nada. Even the places that said they would give... nothing. I didn't really have that much time to work with. My friends offered basketball tickets, but nobody had their tix yet.... they would all have to be to be announced games. I would have nothing to give the winner, and then would have to chase after my friends later on to give them to the raffle winners... no thanks... not doing that. So I decided we should do a cash raffle. I always prefer money to any prize anyway. I figured $10 a ticket and every time we hit 200 tickets, we'd pull a name and the winner would get $1000 and so would the organization. The only problem was that the organization was charging $25 a person for the carnival and it did not include lunch. You had to pay for lunch there.... So we changed it to $5 a ticket, and every 100 tickets we'd pull a name for $250.
The guy in charge liked this idea. I liked the idea. Done.
Emily, my 8 1/2 year old, loved the idea. She wanted to win so badly. She planned to take her own money because she wanted to win the raffle.
I got to the carnival at 11:15. There was so much for the kids to do. You know those big blow up things... the gladiator one, the obstacle course one, the bungee race one, the big slide, a jumping jack one and 2 little kid ones. Mini golf, carnival games and prizes, face painters, and 4 entertainers. My kids were having fun running around doing everything. I on the other hand, was a little nervous. There were very few people in the first hour and a half and I felt like I needed to sell those tickets. I, with the help of Benji...thank god for Benji, and a couple volunteers sold the first 100 by 1:30.
I mixed up the tickets, Emily pulled one out, and called out the name of the winner. The winner decided to let the organization keep the money. So generous... so nice. Emily was crushed. Oh well, I told her. There were 100 tickets. She had bought 2, I had bought 2 but not everyone can win. The volunteers and Benji started selling more raffle tickets, and I decided to let them take over so I could play with Will and Alyssa at the games and take them on a train ride..... When I came back... it was 2:45. They didn't sell the other 100. They only got up to 71. I was about to buy another ticket to try to help get to the hundred mark, when Emily asked me if she could just buy 2 more with her money. I said to her are you sure, cuz you probably won't win. And she said that she was sure. She filled out the tickets, I put them in the bag. The guy in charge decided to just do the raffle because the carnival was ending. So I mixed up the tickets, and he mixed up the tickets, and a little girl pulled out a ticket, and he announced the winner of $180 is Emily Blumberg.
If you could have seen the look on her face! If you could have seen Jessica and her friend Melissa running over to congratulate her... you would have smiled so big from the huge smile on their faces!
Then I looked up and thought, "Crap, why did my daughter have to win." Everyone was looking at me like I should tell her to give it all back to the organization like the other person did. I started to squirm and sweat a little. I said, "Emily honey, maybe we should give some of the money to them." And she looks at me, totally hurt, and said, "I bought those tickets with my money, and I won it. I want the money. I don't want to give it back." I tried to tell her to give half back or part of it back, but she was insistent that she won and it was her prize.
People came over to me and asked if she was going to let the organization keep it. People even came over and made snide remarks as if it was fixed. Someone who works for the organization actually told me to lie to her and tell her I was putting half in the bank and give it to them.
I was getting a little uncomfortable. My husband was beyond pissed. I decided to leave and think it over. I told her in the car, that according to Jewish law, you are supposed to give 10% of your income to charity and it would be nice to give back $20 of the $180 that she won. She agreed to that, but looked really sad the whole way home.
When I got home I was just as upset as my husband. I just paid $250 to that organization (double what I needed to). Plus over $30 in food (which they made a little on) and bought those stupid raffle tickets, and they want my daughter to give them the money that she was so thrilled to win? What the hell is the point of having a raffle if you are not allowed to keep the prize?
My parents were on Emily's side. All my friends were on Emily's side. My friend's response was actually, that's why we don't go to this organization's things... because they are stupid and greedy. And you know what, I totally agree. My friends and I had every intention of keeping the money if we won. What the hell is the point of having a raffle anyway if you can't win the prize. If Emily would have won a piece of jewelry, would she have been expected to give it back so they could re-raffle it for more money?
Seriously, I used to really love this organization. I think they do wonderful things for the families with sick children, and I pray to god that I never ever need their help. But WTF? Trying to take a measly $180 from a kid? I am curious to see if she ever wants to give them money ever again because I sincerely doubt it. She walks around the house collecting change and any money she finds outside, and ALWAYS puts it aside to give to charity. She is possibly the most generous out of all of us. She always gives from her own money when they collect for different functions at school, and I have a feeling this was her last time giving to this one.
AND REALLY PEOPLE, I KNOW YOU ALL THINK YOU ARE HILARIOUS.... BUT IF ONE MORE PERSON SAYS SOMETHING TO ME ABOUT IT OR JOKES ABOUT IT BEING RIGGED ON FACEBOOK, EXPECT TO NOT HEAR FROM ME FOR A WHILE.
Anyway, last night when I was putting Emily to bed, I apologized for trying to take away her prize. I asked her if we could "relive" the moment of her winning the raffle... which we did. And she went to bed with a smile.