March 7, 2024

Michael Ahles, President
Office: 651-490-0170
Email: mahles@catholicunited.org

Catholic United Financial Raffle Wraps Up 15th Year with 3rd Highest Fundraising Total Ever

ST PAUL, Minn. (March 7th, 2024) – As Catholic schools in Minnesota and South Dakota conclude the 15th year of the Catholic United Financial Raffle, the program is proud to announce a remarkable milestone in its growth and impact. What began in 2009 with less than 20 schools and just over $100,000 raised has transformed into a significant initiative, raising millions of dollars for education in our Catholic community.

This year’s raffle, which ran from January 12 to February 18, saw an outstanding $1,416,329 cumulative raised! To commemorate this achievement, Catholic United Financial Sprout SolutionsSM sponsored a Grand Raffle Prize Ceremony held on March 7. The ceremony was graced by the presence of two esteemed Bishops – Auxiliary Bishop Michael Izen and Bishop Emeritus John LeVoir – who added inspiration and joy to the event. They were joined by ceremony host Jim Cunningham, a local legend, actor, voiceover artist and former “Minister of Fun” for the Minnesota Twins and the Minnesota Wild.  

The highlight of the Grand Raffle Prize Ceremony was the announcement of the winners of the $35,000 in prizes, including a grand prize winner of a 2024 Chevy Trax or $20,000 cash. The excitement extended to over 14,000 students who participated in fundraising, with top sellers at each Catholic school winning a performance prize and the chance to win up to $200 in tuition scholarships.

Since its inception, the Catholic United Financial Raffle has raised over $15.6 million for Catholic schools across MinnesotaNorth Dakota and South Dakota. Of the 80 participating schools, this year’s top five selling schools who collectively raised $318,940 included Marquette Catholic School in Virginia, MN; Stella Maris Academy in Duluth, MNSt. Francis of the Lakes in Brainerd, MNSt. Stephen’s in Anoka, MN; and St. Joseph’s of Rosemount, MN. (A full list of 2024 partner schools can be found here.) 

Audience members celebrate the success of the 2024 Catholic United Financial Raffle.

Dignitaries and staff in attendance at the Grand Prize Ceremony on March 7, 2024 celebrate the success of the Catholic United Financial Raffle, which raised a cumulative total of more than $1.4 million for Catholic schools in Minnesota and South Dakota. Standing left to right are Director Jim Gibbons, President and CEO Michael Ahles, Credit Union President Andrea Ferkingstad, Raffle Marketing Specialist Gabby Japke, Bishop Emeritus John LeVoir of the Diocese of New Ulm, Auxiliary Bishop Michael Izen of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Master of Ceremonies Jim Cunningham and Senior Vice President Paul Zastrow.

Sole sponsor Catholic United Financial provided promotional materials, raffle tickets, and prizes, allowing the schools to focus on fundraising efforts. The funds raised directly benefit schools by supporting programs, tuition, technology, and facilities.

“We are thrilled to witness the enduring success of the Catholic United Financial Raffle over the past 15 years,” said Mike Ahles, President and CEO at Catholic United Financial. “This program is an incredible part of Our Story as it fosters strong community engagement and makes a lasting impact on the education and future of thousands of students.” 

For more information on how to continue supporting Catholic education all year and how you can start your journey of growing your savings, giving and security with Catholic United Financial Sprout Solutions SM, visit www.catholicunitedfinancial.org/sprout.  

About Catholic United Financial
Catholic United Financial is a member-owned, not-for-profit financial services company, dedicated to connecting people of faith, protecting their future, and generously impacting parishes, schools, and communities in the Upper Midwest since 1878. The company provides life insurance, retirement products, and Medicare supplement insurance, credit union services, and charitable legacy planning for its 73,000-plus members. Based in St. Paul, Minn., Catholic United Financial helps its members plan for every step of their life journey and supports local communities through initiatives like the Catholic Schools Raffle, Post-High School Tuition Scholarships, and more. Visit www.catholicunitedfinancial.org to learn more. 

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