Holiday Shops Week of Winning

Although it may have looked different than in previous years, members of the Parents’ Association worked to ensure that Holiday Shops 2020 was fun and memorable—while raising more than $35,000 for the school.

In 2020, the Parents’ Association (PA) Holiday Shops raffle didn’t look like it has in previous years—it was bigger. In lieu of the traditional Holiday Shops in-person shopping experience, student raffle co-chairs Juliana Elejalde and Liza Sadoff ’99 developed the Week of Winning Extravaganza—a week-long, school-wide raffle event.

From left: PA President Colleen Polston; Willie the Wildcat; student raffle co-chairs Juliana Elejalde and Liza Sadoff ’99; and PA Office Coordinator Patricia Kauffman.

In the past, the raffle items typically were geared towards younger students. But this year, the Holiday Shops committee members wanted to involve the entire community. Elejalde and Sadoff began working in the summer to gather raffle items that would appeal to all ages. “We received very generous support from school families,” said Sadoff. “The community was so willing to help; it was overwhelming.”

Upper School Science Teacher Amber Bakkum was speechless when she learned she won an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas. This item was only open to faculty and staff, and all were entered to win.

The team secured 104 raffle items—including a Peloton bike, a Pac-Man arcade, a trip to Las Vegas, and tickets to see Justin Bieber at Summerfest—with raffle ticket prices ranging from free (with a canned food donation) to $5. In total, more than 10,000 tickets were sold, each of which had to be sorted and counted manually. “Everyday we’d pick up tickets from the boxes around school, print out the online tickets, and come to the PA office and sort them from one to 104, based on which raffle item they were for,” said Elejalde.

Shea McCartin ’35 (center) won recess supplies, including balls, bubbles, and chalk, for his prekindergarten class with Jen Keppler.

Members of the PA solicited help from Head of School Steve Hancock and Willie the Wildcat to pull the winning tickets and distribute prizes throughout the week. The event was a hit. “It was more than just a fundraiser,” said PA President Colleen Polston, “it was a morale booster, too. The whole community participated, and every penny we raised went right back to the school.”

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