By EDWARD HUSAR
Herald-Whig Staff Writer
Supporters have until noon Thursday to buy tickets for the Quincy High School Alumni Association's "Big Blue Raffle" fundraiser.
Winners of the top four prizes, including the $100,000 grand prize, will be announced Saturday night during QHS's annual Showcase of Excellence.
The Alumni Association is attempting to sell up to 5,000 tickets -- priced at $100 apiece -- with the goal of generating $310,000 in new revenue for Quincy's public schools. The remaining $190,000 would then be available to give away as prizes and to cover costs.
Julie Ross, executive director of the Quincy Public Schools Foundation, which sponsors the QHS Alumni Association, said ticket sales "have been steady all along, but we have not yet reached our goal."
All proceeds will be used to benefit students in the Quincy School District.
The first $50,000 raised will be split among the district's 14 schools based on the preferences of raffle participants. Every person who buys a ticket will be able to designate where $10 of the $100 purchase price will go. The list of schools includes all seven elementary schools; the three sections at Baldwin Intermediate School (North, South and West); Quincy Junior High; QHS; the Quincy Area Vocational-Technical Center; and the Early Childhood and Family Education Center.
The remaining $260,000 would then be available to use as needed to support activities in the areas of curriculum, technology, fine arts and athletics.
Ross said the district's technology needs will be a primary target.
"It will likely be devices to support our new wireless infrastructure and user devices such as iPads and Chromebooks and that type of thing," she said. "We haven't settled on exactly how many of what device, but that's the direction where a good portion of the funding will be spent."
A recent sales pitch to alumni was coupled with an offer for a lifetime membership to the Alumni Association for any QHS graduate who buys a $100 ticket.
The Alumni Association has been periodically giving away "early bird" prizes since Thanksgiving. All winning tickets drawn were re-entered into each subsequent drawing, including the big award drawing this weekend.
In addition to the $100,000 grand prize, raffle coordinators on Saturday will announce the winners of the second-place prize of $25,000, third-place prize of $10,000 and fourth-place prize of $5,000. The announcement will be made around 7:30 p.m. at the Baldwin Intermediate School auditorium, where the Adam Larson Jazz Quintet will give a concert as part of the Showcase of Excellence. The Big River Swing Machine also will perform there at 6:30. Both concerts are included in the price of admission to the Showcase of Excellence.
The Big Blue Raffle's prize pool also includes 10 $1,000 prizes, 20 $500 prizes and 66 $250 prizes.
More information about the raffle is available by calling the QPS Foundation office at (217) 228-7158, extension 2256, or by visiting the following website: www.qhsalumniraffle.com.