QUEEN OF HEARTS
REMAINS A MYSTERY
Ever since the Football Mania fundraiser ended in 2009, the Advancement Board (AB) had been seeking a new moneymaker for our school. Although this initiative netted nearly $120,000 over two years, selling weekly tickets during the 17 week NFL season was a daunting task from a manpower perspective.
No, thought the Board, there must be something new, fresh, and exciting,that could bring in similar results with much less effort. Realizing that Football Mania had replaced events like an Alumni Basketball game, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, and Fashion Shows which had all run their course, the Board announced a contest offering free tuition for one student for a new event that would raise a minimum of $20,000.
The winning entry was a Rummage Sale. This was attractive because it could be supported by the entire parish and Naperville community. Unfortunately, it turned out to be very labor intensive and didn't result in anywhere near the proceeds anticipated.
Next came Sports Trivia Night. Another great idea on paper and scheduled for Father's Day weekend two years running to make it attractive and convenient for generations of families to come together in a relaxed and fun setting. While it was great fun, and required a minimum amount of heavy lifting, it fell short of generating significant money.
Fast forward to last August. At their opening meeting of the year, the AB heard about something called the Queen of Hearts. St. Cajetan School, located on the south side of Chicago, was clearly in the forefront of this unique progressive raffle and their jackpot already exceeded $2 million
(it would eventually reach $4 million). Local area VFW's were also sponsoring similar events with the one in Morris also approaching $2 million and the VFW in McHenry nearing $4 million
(it would eventually reach $7 million).
As Chicago city planner Daniel Burnham once famously said "Make no small plans for they have no magic to stir men's blood." The Board was sold on the Queen of Hearts and left the meeting with visions of dollar signs in their head.
In September when the Board was asked to submit ideas for how the school could benefit from the anticipated windfall, the first suggestion was "Ev
en if we only cleared $270,000 we could freeze tuition for three years!"
here was even speculation that we could eliminate some current fundraisers.
That was then and this is now.
After much negotiation with both our City Fathers and the Diocese of Joliet, the first tickets were sold on February 16.
19 weeks later, the jackpot stands at $21,000. Unfortunately, there are no zero's missing from that number. Should the Queen be pulled this Saturday, our profit would be $10,500, far less than originally hoped for.
What happened? Why has there been such a tepid response from the Naperville citizenry?
Reasons vary. Cited most often is that perhaps Quigley's was not the ideal venue for sales due to parking concerns and the lack of walk up foot traffic.
Others feel that we haven't done a good enough job in marketing and educating the general public.
Another view holds that we are in a Catch 22. People won't get excited until the pot reaches a certain level ($25, $50, $100, or $250K, etc.) but, of course, we can't reach that level without them buying tickets.
Perhaps the most interesting speculation has to do with Naperville demographics not being the best fit for such an undertaking.
Regardless of the actual reason, far less people than hoped for were
about our new initiative.
But $10,500 is not small potatoes! Think for a minute about what you could do with such a winning.
Pay tuition for two students at Peter and Paul? Make two or three house payments? Take a family vacation? Pay off your car note? Open or add to a Roth IRA?
So while the Queen of Hearts has remained hidden for almost four months, the real mystery is at what point will this fundraiser catch fire? Advancement Board members are convinced that day is on the horizon and cling for inspiration to the opening line in one of English poet Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie's poems "All good things come to he who waits."
If you're willing to invest $5 per ticket to receive a potential 2,200% ROI, we are selling tickets at Quigley's every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; in the Advancement Office on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; and after the 5:00 pm Mass on Saturday and after the 9:30 am and before the 11:00 am Masses on Sunday. For your added convenience, you may also purchase tickets online from 5:00 pm Sunday through 8:00 am on Thursday by clicking this link.