Raffle with a cause

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Alice Ottoson-McKeen, a sophomore at Juneau-Douglas High School, walked among the fans at the Gold Medal while she called 50/50 tickets for sale.

Erik Stimpfle / For The Juneau Empire
Erik Stimpfle / For The Juneau Empire

She sold the tickets for a dollar a piece to raise money for the JDHS drama, debate, and forensics club. At halftime, a drawing takes place, with the winner getting half the money. The other half will go toward student fundraising.

"It's fun when people buy them, when people don't buy them you feel like you're in the way," Ottoson-McKeen said Monday. "You have to crouch down (to not block people's view) and laugh at all their jokes."

Drake Skaggs, a college-bound senior, didn't like selling the tickets much.

"It kind of sucks, it's not particularly enjoyable," he said. But he said he enjoys being on the debate team and is working to help pay for a trip to state competition last March. Skaggs has been on the debate team for four years and has been accepted to Gonzaga and St. John's University. He is considering attending law school. Skaggs said debating helped him learn public speaking skills.

Cricket Curtain, activities assistant at JDHS, said it cost $450 to $500 per person to travel to a state competition.

Clubs engaged in fundraising during this year's tournament include video club, drama, debate and forensics, cross country, early scholars, alpine club, cheerleading (basketball), and girls soccer.

Juneau freshman Jackie Miramontes and sophomore Jasmyne Quitoriano just finished selling concessions at Mac's Cache to raise money for their cheerleading squad. It was their first time working at Mac's Cache.

Quitoriano said the money will be used to pay for new poms, uniforms, T-shirts, and jackets. Miramontes found fundraising to be hard work.

"It can be difficult because it gets hot and crowded (behind the concession counter)," she said.

They both managed to keep smiling toward the end of a busy shift.

Friday's 50/50 tickets are being sold by the early scholars program, which helps prepare Native students for college. Adviser Richard Steele said there are 69 Native students in the program. Last year, the group was hosted by Dartmouth and Boston colleges, with a visit to the campuses. The groups also visited Harvard and MIT universities. Steele said the students also visit the University of Alaska Fairbanks, which gave $10,000 to the program.

Currently the group is raising money for a trip to visit Fort Lewis in Durango and Dine College in Arizona, both Native colleges that give free tuition to Native students. The group needs to raise $12,000 by June and will sell smoked salmon at the Gold Medal tournament. Steele said people that want to support the group can call Frank Conrad at 780-4748.

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