$60K: Petal Primary Disney raffle raises big bucks for computers and playground equipment

By HASKEL BURNS,

When officials from Petal Primary School sent students home last month with tickets for the school’s fourth annual Disney Raffle, they expected a good turnout.

That being said, they might not quite have expected – but were more than happy with – the $60,347 raised by the raffle, which will provide new Chromebooks and playground equipment for the school.

“Our goal was $50,000, and last year we sold about $38,000,” principal Tessa Trimm said. “So we set a lofty goal with $50,000 and surpassed it.

“It’s just unbelievable. Almost all of our students sold at least one ticket, which is pretty amazing. So it was awesome; we’re excited.”

During the fundraiser – which serves as the biggest of the year for the Petal Primary School PTO – each student was sent home with 10 tickets to the raffle, which could be sold for $5 each. The student who sold the winning ticket, Kyleigh Magee of Mrs. Hendry’s second-grade class, will receive a $2,500 Disney gift card.

Kyleigh’s mother, Quijett Magee, having bought the winning ticket, also will receive a $2,500 gift card.

“We want to guarantee a winner from our school, and we want parents to be involved as well, so it was really cool how it turned out where both winners were from our school,” Trimm said. “(Kyleigh) was so excited, and our PTO president did a fantastic job when she went down and presented it to the class.

“It was the neatest thing – (Kyleigh’s) classmates were so precious. You’d think a bunch of 7-year-olds would be upset because they didn’t win, but it was the total opposite. They were hugging her, and they were so excited that somebody in their class had actually won. It was pretty amazing, her reaction and how sweet and compassionate her classmates were for her.”

A $500 Disney gift card will be awarded to teacher Pam Smith, whose class sold the most tickets (760) during the fundraiser. Student-wise, Macie Johnson sold the most tickets at 552 and also will receive a $500 Disney gift card.

Other top selling-students, who each received certificates, include Sawyer Wallace (445 tickets), Emmalyn Anderson (262 tickets), Cason Chandler (160 tickets) and Andee Grace Sutton (146 tickets).

Approximately $20,000 of the raised funds will go toward the new Chromebooks, while the remainder will go toward new equipment on the school’s playground.

“We’re going to put that new rubber playground mulch on the playground to make the playgrounds more safe, and try to get some new equipment as well, so we’re pretty pumped about that,” Trimm said. “And what happens with our Chromebooks is, about every five years they’re outdated and they won’t withstand the new updates that are pushed out.

“So we have to do a replacement of those Chromebooks, and the PTO dedicates $20,000 per year for us to purchase replacement Chromebooks. We have a good replacement plan, and our tech team does a great job of getting us that plan, so we know exactly how many we need to buy. In about three years, we’re going to have about 400 that are out of date, and that will be a huge purchase, so they take care of us and make sure that we’re ordering enough every year.”

With this year’s Disney Raffle a success, officials are already looking forward to the fifth annual event next year.

“This was the most successful year we’ve had, so we definitely want to do this again,” Trimm said. “And the reason it was so successful is because we have the parent support, the volunteers and the PTO.

“They had a really good strategy going into it about how they wanted to promote it weekly – lots of prize incentives for our kids, and they were very strategic planning this over the summer. The planning went on for months and months, and they had a really good plan and they executed it really well.”

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