Up & Coming Weekly

January 19, 2021

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 26 of 40

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 26 UCW JANUARY 20-26, 2021 Seeing Eye to Eye comes om meeting Face to Face Debbie Best, CFP®, Financial Advisor | 910-322-9205 228 Winslow St. Downtown Fayetteville Twenty years ago, the Kiwanis Club of Fayetteville was in dire need of a new fundraising project to help jump-start our projects budget. We had become too dependent on our old standbys like the Kiwanis Talent Night that cel- ebrated its 68th year in 2019. We need to maintain a healthy projects fund to support our over 30 signature Kiwanis projects and programs like the Scholastic Achievement, Terrific Kids and Reading is Fun, to name a few. It was the age-old problem of declining revenue and increasing expenses. e Board of Directors had been brainstorming ideas for a significant new fundraiser for several years and was finally ready to pull the trigger. en-Kiwanis President Jerry rasher and the board entertained a proposal that was the brain- child of member Don Price — sponsor a reverse raffle for a brand new automobile. Don advo- cated that the club could net several thousand dollars while hosting a first-class fun and enter- taining event for local community ticketholders. After all, who wouldn't buy into that? e board supported the idea and approved $1000 for expenses with the goal of raising $5000 the first year. e board of directors sat in stunned silence when Price reported that the tickets would be $100 each and the club would need to sell 400 of them to make the event a suc- cess! e first reaction was that this would never work since Kiwanians had a well-earned reputa- tion for not being capable of selling anything. Despite severe misgivings, the board green-light- ed the project basically on the enthusiasm and confidence they had in Don and his inaugural committee of Wick Smith, Fred Best, Jerry Mus- selwhite and Mark Rice. ey even won over the most skeptical board member past Kiwanis presi- dent Rick Booth who still had a garage full of blue trash bags that the club failed to sell at $5 a box! Reluctantly, he agreed to take ten tickets and sold them all immediately in his first ten calls. Rick Booth has been one of the most consistent salesmen for the Raffle and its most prominent advocate from that day forward. Over the years, we added even more fun revenue enhancements to the event. Booth and John Malzone came up with the ideas like a seven-day cruise for two and 50/50 raffles. After years of nudging and plenty of discussions, the Reverse Raffle Committee finally approved the sale and serving of beer and wine. is raised more money while Tal Baggett and Bill Bowman became the first Kiwanis bartenders. e event continued to evolve and grow over the years. e committee recently increased the ticket price to $125 and reduced the number of ticketholders from 400 to 300. is also meant that the committee had to collect 300 prizes since every ticket holder is guaranteed a gift ranging from golf outings to oil changes to gas grills. At this event, everyone is a winner. at first year we raised $8,000, exceeding the goal by $3,000, and the event could not have been scripted with a more exciting and dramatic ending that evening. Kiwanis legendary member, George Vossler, was one of the final three ticket holders when fellow Kiwanians Bill Maxwell and Mike Lallier made an offer to purchase each of the remaining three tickets for $5,000 each. Two sold, but Vossler held out. e odds were excellent in the two gamblers' favor; however, when the final drawing took place, Vossler held the winning ticket and drove away with the new car. Yep, the generous, good- natured gamblers lost, but the children of the community won big. Since then, we have consistently raised $20,000 plus a year to fund local Kiwanis special projects. No history of the Reverse Raffle would be complete without mentioning Kiwanis stalwart Fred Best. Everyone loved Fred. Spirited and competitive, Fred led ticket sales and considered it a point of personal pride to do so. Close on his heels every year was Ray Utley, another talented salesman, and great Fayetteville Kiwanian. Danny Highsmith "the Voice" has served as our most excellent and talented Master of Ceremo- nies for 20 consecutive years, well, almost. One year he had a schedule conflict and asked John Malzone to fill in for him. Unfortunately, John had a conflict, so he recruited the notorious Bill Bowman to emcee. After that experience, Danny learned his lesson and hasn't missed this event since, for which we are most grateful. Under the supervision and watchful eyes of Don Price, Mark Fisher and Garry Winebarger and their committee, the Kiwanis Reverse Raffle has never failed to sell out each year, raising over $400,000 in nearly two decades in support of Kiwanis children's charities. For this, we give thanks to a grateful and supportive community. Join us this year as we celebrate the Reverse Raffle's 20th Anniversary. Who knows? Your sup- port could have you driving away in a brand new car or truck! And, for a very, very good cause. Decades of success: The Kiwanis Reverse Raffle by JOHN HOLMES Raffle emcee Danny Highsmith (left) and Raffle Monitor Gerry Musselwhite (right). Mr. Car Raffle himself Don Price. KIWANIS INTERNATIONAL

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