The Laguna Beach VFW post 5868 raised a total of $5,200 from their first-ever raffle fundraiser, which culminated with a drawing of the winning tickets on Dec. 6 and kept post finances firmly in the black.
The first prize of a new Apple iPad went to Laguna Beach resident Richard Moore, an officer with the Laguna Beach post of the American Legion. Lean Skelton of Irvine won the second prize of a dinner for four at the Loft restaurant at the Montage, and Laguna Beach resident Liliana Angel won the third prize, a $100 gift certificate to the Olive Garden.
Post commander Arnie Silverman initiated the raffle this year in the hope of raising the $4,000 needed to cover their annual operating expenses that help them cater to the needs of area veterans. In the past the post held food events, such as an annual Octoberfest, to fundraise, but with an aging membership and a dearth of new recruits, Silverman found it hard to rally enough volunteers to run such a function. He came up with a raffle as a less labor-intensive alternative.
Based on the success of this inaugural raffle, which exceeded their fundraising goal, Silverman said he plans to hold one annually. He hopes that as recognition and awareness spread, it will do even better going forward, providing financial stability for the post for years to come.
Anyone who missed the raffle but still wishes to make a contribution can send a check to VFW Post 5868, P.O. Box 629, Laguna Beach, CA 92652, or visit www.vfw5868.org, and click on PayPal.