For Immediate Release: March 9, 2023
ST. PAUL, Minn., – Catholic schools in Minnesota and South Dakota have done it 10 years in a row. Through the Catholic United Financial Raffle fundraising program, they have raised more than $1 million each year since 2014. This amazing streak continues in 2023 with more than $1.3 million raised by students and staff selling raffle tickets in January and February.
Organizers of the Catholic United Financial Raffle, an annual fundraising program involving 80-plus Catholic schools, are crediting this 10-year streak to the amazing families and staff of these schools.
“To achieve this level of success for 10 straight years is a testimony to the dedication of Catholic school families and staff, and the communities that surround them,” said Michael Ahles, president and CEO of program sponsor Catholic United Financial. “Raffle season is always an exciting time for us because we partner with tens of thousands of people to make this fundraiser a million-dollar reality. The students and families are uniting with the 75,000-plus members of Catholic United Financial whose generous vision to protect and connect people makes a program like this possible.”
On March 9, the raffle concluded with a livestream prize drawing ceremony hosted by actor and local media personality Jim Cunningham. Many recognize Cunningham’s iconic voice from his work as the “Minister of Fun” for the Minnesota Twins and Game Host for the Minnesota Wild for more than 20 years. A supporter of Catholic education and graduate of Catholic schools himself, Cunningham kept the in-studio audience laughing as he helped the Most Rev. John LeVoir, retired Bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, pull the winning tickets from the 10-foot-long raffle drum crowded with nearly 300,000 tickets.
Catholic school students from across Minnesota and South Dakota sold $5 raffle tickets from Jan. 13th to Feb. 26th while competing for top selling prizes and performance grants. The top selling students at each school will be able to sing their hearts out with a Song Machine Karaoke system prize, and they were entered into a drawing to win up to $500 in tuition scholarship dollars. Prize winners were selected during the ceremony, including the grand prize winner who will receive her choice of a brand-new Chevy Trax SUV or $20,000 in cash.
Catholic United Financial also awarded $9,000 in grants to schools who achieved performance goals in 2023; the grants were awarded to St. Mary’s Catholic School in Tracy, MN, Our Lady of the Prairie Catholic School in Belle Plaine, MN, and Marquette Catholic School in Virginia, MN. Another $10,000 in tuition grants were announced to 39 students who were top ticket sellers at their schools. A complete list of prize winners and participating schools will be posted to the Catholic United website after winners have been verified (www.catholicunitedfinancial.org/raffle).
The Catholic United Financial Raffle is a fundraising program provided to schools free of charge by sponsor Catholic United Financial. Catholic United provided all promotional materials, raffle tickets and prizes for the program so participating schools can focus on fundraising money. Every dollar raised goes right back into the school to fund programs, tuition support, technology and facilities. The Raffle has raised over $14 million for Catholic education since 2009.
About Catholic United Financial
Catholic United Financial is a member-owned not-for-profit financial services company, 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, long-term care and Medicare supplement insurance, credit union services and charitable giving planning for its 75,000-plus members and returns a portion of its profits to local communities through programs like the Catholic United Financial Raffle, Post-High School Tuition Scholarship and more. Based in St. Paul, Minn., Catholic United helps its members plan for every step of their life journey.