A creative replacement for Galabration celebration at Plainfield school

St. Mary Immaculate taking the raffle concept to whole new level of fun

It’s hard to replace an annual fundraiser that raises more than $60,000 for a school.

But the committee for St. Mary Immaculate Parish School’s Galabration event is offering a creative solution for 2021.

Jill Gauss, a member of the committee, said St. Mary’s Galabration event typically consisted of a sit-down dinner in the school’s gymnasium followed by entertainment and live and silent auctions.

Approximately 200 people attended Galabration each year, which brought in between $60,000 to $70,000 toward curriculum and the school’s operating expenses, Gauss said.

“Also, this year in particular, the school has had to make some additional investments in cleaning and safety supplies,” Gauss said.

This year, St. Mary’s is offering a virtual month-long event that skips the in-person and the dinner, but includes a month’s worth of luxury giveaways and, hopefully, plenty of entertainment.

Here’s how it works.

Each person who buys a $25 raffle calendar will be entered into the drawing. Each day, one name will be drawn. The winner wins every item listed on the calendar for that day. The next day, another name is drawn, Gauss said.

Even if a person wins, that person’s name goes back into the drawing. So it’s possible to win more than once. People can also buy more than one calendar. This increases their chance of winning, since their name will be entered in every daily drawing more than once, Gauss said.

Daily prizes are worth at least $250, she said.

“We have some electronics – an Apple watch, a Roomba [robot] vacuum and a Nintendo switch, just to name a few,” Gauss said. “We have a lot of local restaurant gift cards. We have some premium liquor and wine packages, wine tastings. And we do have a vacation package in there.”

Gauss said the best way to buy a raffle calendar is to email Galabration@smip.org. Calendars are available for purchase through the end of February.

To see the list of prizes and for information on the actual drawings, visit facebook.com/Galabration.

For more information on St. Mary Immaculate Parish School, visit smischool.org.

Denise M. Baran-Unland

Denise M. Baran-Unland is the features editor for The Herald-News in Joliet. She covers a variety of human interest stories. She also writes the long-time weekly tribute feature “An Extraordinary Life about local people who have died. She studied journalism at the College of St. Francis in Joliet, now the University of St. Francis.