HANCOCK - Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly exist because of donations and fundraising efforts, and one of the organization's more significant fundraisers has begun.
Mark Cinelli, LBFE business manager and fundraiser, said about 300 tickets have been sold for the Friendship Raffle.
"We've been rolling on this since the middle of January," he said.
Tickets are $50 each, Cinelli said. The goal is to sell 1,500 tickets by June 23, the day of the drawing, which coincides with another local big event.
"It's the last day of FinnFest," he said.
FinnFest U.S.A. 2013 will take place in many locations around the Copper Country, but will be based in Hancock. The drawing for the raffle will take place at 11:45 a.m. during the FinnFest Tori, or Finnish market, at the Michigan Technological University Student Development Complex.
However many tickets are sold, Cinelli said proceeds will be split evenly between LBFE and raffle winners. If all 1,500 tickets are sold, the first prize will be $30,000, second prize is $5,000, third prize is $1,500 and fourth prize is $1,000.
Cinelli said Little Brothers would get $37,500 if all 1,500 tickets are sold.
"That's a big chunk of money for us," he said.
If not all tickets are sold, Cinelli said there will still be a 50/50 split of proceeds, with raffle-winner prizes adjusted accordingly based on the number sold.
Cinelli said the Michigan Charitable Gaming license number for the raffle is R19516.
There is no limit on the number of tickets an individual can buy, Cinelli said.
"We've already had one person buy 10," he said.
Last year, Cinelli said 1,200 tickets were sold for a total amount of $24,000.
"We didn't quite sell out last year," he said.
Besides the raffle, Cinelli said LBFE raises money from monthly donors, and its annual summer Ford Mustang raffle.
Proceeds from the Friendship Raffle will help fund the new services in Baraga and Ontonagon, Cinelli said. It will also help pay for two AmeriCorps interns in Baraga and Ontonagon.
Other new services in Baraga and Ontonagon include friendly visiting, fire wood delivery, some medical transport and three holiday parties, Cinelli said.
"Those are expanding greatly," he said. "Attendance there has doubled."
Besides the LBFE office at 527 Hancock St. in Hancock, Cinelli said tickets can be purchased at Superior National Bank in Calumet, Hancock and Mohawk, River Valley Bank in Calumet and Houghton, and Range Bank in Calumet.
Cinelli said tickets for the raffle have been sold to people in 38 states.
"For a little non-profit, we have a pretty good following," he said.