Most of the time, when someone wins a raffle, they express joy, maybe do a little dance, then get to work using their prize.
A group of Elkin High School students decided to do something different — they are raffling off their raffle prize.
The students are members of the Elkin High School Interact Club, and the group won a kayak being raffled off as part of the Elkin Valley Trails Association Duck and Turtle Regatta. Actually, the club did not purchase a raffle ticket, but a local man, Dr. Bill Blackley, purchased several tickets on behalf of others, including the Interact Club.
“I didn’t want to win the prize,” Blackley said last week as he gathered with the club and the kayak for a picture.
That the kayak would again be raffled shouldn’t be a surprise — the sleek watercraft started this journey a donation.
“Paul Carter donated the kayak to the EVTA to raffle off during the Duck and Turtle Regatta race,” said Leslie Hooper, who serves as the advisor to the Interact club. Carter, a member of the trail association, had hoped the donation would help the group raise money for its work.
Then Blackley purchased several tickets, naming other groups as the beneficiary on each ticket, should that one be drawn as the winner.
“I got an email from Dr. Blackley about a week ago saying Interact won the grand prize. I couldn’t get the smile off of my face because I could not wait to tell the students that we had acquired this kayak,” said Hooper.
That did leave the adults of the club with a quandry — what to do with the kayak. They figured the fairest thing would be to put the names of the kids in a hat and draw a winner, who could take the kayak home.
The students who make up the club, however, had other plans.
“We opened it up to the students and asked them what they thought and what they wanted to do,” said Hooper, claiming a student immediately suggested it be raffled again.
“I said okay, then what are we going to do with the money and they said give it back to the EVTA,” she said.
Over the next several weeks, the members of the Interact club will be selling $5 raffle ticket that will give the buyer a chance to win the kayak, with the money raised going to the Elkin Valley Trails Association — the orignial beneficary of the first kayak raffle.
“I am impressed,” said Elkin City Schools Superintendent Dr. Myra Cox. “I think the idea of the students giving back to the community says it all and that’s what impresses me the most.”
“This is totally different [than] what we [usually] do with the trails,” said Blackley of the organization responsible for the upkeep and enhancement of the local trails including building new sections.
“We always focus on an objective,” he said. “So we’re never raising money unless we know what we’re going to spend it on. We have two more crossings coming in the next year… and we’re going to be going almost a mile more upstream [from the Elkin Recreation Center] so thank you all.”
Knowing there are a multitude of projects that need attention as well as funds, Blackley was particularly appreciative of the adults who made the continued giving possible as well as the students who decided to keep it going.
“The credit [for starting it] is to Paul Carter, who has for four years in a row voluntarily and without any coercion at all chased us down and said, ‘I want to make sure this happens,’ and has given us a kayak. He deserves a huge amount of credit,” Blackley said.
Blackley also credited the trails association and Rotary member Joe Hicks for making the Duck and Turtle Regatta possible.
“Joe deserves a huge amount of credit for giving a lot of his hours and time and energy and thought [to the regatta],” said Blackley. “Without Joe ‘Beaver’ Hicks, the Duck and Turtle Regatta would not be human possibly.”
Blackley stated it spoke highly of Hicks’ relationships with others that he was able to collect 44 prizes for this year’s regatta which helped sell more than 900 chances.
“Every Saturday he, at least, and sometimes with other people would go to the [Elkin] Farmers Market and sell raffle tickets for that thing,” said Blackley, who was also seen at the market, “and all of that goes to service for the community.”
“We each got $2,300 out of it this year with our shares,” said Hicks, explaining the Rotary used its share for local scholarships and, “of course our money goes back into the trails and places. Maybe to ride this [kayak] down the stream up here one day.”
Opportunities to participate in this continued circle of giving are expected to continue.
“We hope to generate interest by having [the kayak] here at the school,” said Hooper. The students also plan to sell chances at the home football games with the winner chosen after Oct. 27.
“Particularly they were interested in the East Wilkes [game]. It’s a big rivalry and a big night for us since it’s senior night so the sky’s the limit really.”
For more information, contact the Elkin High School office at 336-835-3858.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.