Dale Miller, an exceptional student education teacher at Seminole High School, checks out the 2012 Mini Cooper Baker Street Limited Edition that she won Oct. 6 in a raffle.
Displaying a check for $27,381 are, from left, band boosters president Tom Lewis, band boosters corporate fundraiser Roger Fox, Seminole Kiwanis president Guy Trent, Seminole Kiwanis member Dave Kinsey and Seminole High band director Chip Wood.
SEMINOLE – Roger Fox admits it was a learning experience but a very successful effort.
A recent car raffle conducted by the Seminole Kiwanis Club for the Seminole High School band boosters raised $27,381 after expenses, which will be used to help SHS band members make the trip to Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1 for the Tournament of Roses Parade.
The drawing was conducted Oct. 6 at Seminole High following the annual Seminole Sound Spectacular. Dale Miller, an exceptional student education teacher at SHS, was the winner of the grand prize – a 2012 Mini Cooper Baker Street Limited Edition.
Miller purchased a $25 raffle ticket only a week earlier during a band fundraiser at the Cali Shack on Seminole Boulevard. It turned out to be her lucky day. After paying about $7,500 in state sales and federal withholding taxes, Miller took delivery on Oct. 13.
She was one of six winners in the drawing. Others were James Mock, who won a 2-carat diamond from Alexis Diamond House; Anthony Cicotti, a Cape Cod vacation; Richard Slater, $100 dinner for two at the Sheraton Sand Key; Stacy Welton, $100 Salon West gift card; and Tim Stark, $50 Safety Harbor Spa gift card.
Altogether, about 2,100 raffle tickets were sold raising just over $50,000 before the expense of paying for the car from Mini of Wesley Chapel.
“The raffle was a success,” said Fox, who volunteers as corporate fundraiser for the band boosters. “We owe the Kiwanis Club a big debt of gratitude. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Due to school rules, public school booster clubs cannot conduct raffles without approval of the Pinellas County School Board. Because that approval might have taken a few months to achieve, Fox decided to circumvent the school board by using the Kiwanis Club as the organizer of the raffle.
It worked well.
Another key, Fox said, was posting the raffle on www.oldcarraffle.com, which resulted in nearly 1,300 hits and the sale of additional raffle tickets.
“Me alone, I sold between 50 and 100 extra raffle tickets out of state (because of the website),” Fox said. “Altogether, there were a lot of sales (due to the website listing).
“I learned a lot,” he added, “and I would do it again.”
The effort to raise a large amount of money started late last spring when Fox met with band director Chip Wood. Fox told Wood “something exciting” was needed.
Fox first approached Honda, the sponsor of the Rose Parade. But Honda couldn’t help. Same thing at a couple of other auto dealerships.
Then, a couple of weeks later, Fox mentioned his idea in passing to former Seminole High drum major Jack Rowland.
Rowland, a former photographer and photo director for the Tampa Bay Times, had recently joined the sales team at Mini of Wesley Chapel.
“I mentioned the (the car raffle concept) to Jack and then, jokingly, a few weeks later I asked him ‘how’s that new car coming along?’” Fox said.
Rowland took the passing comment to heart and approached his boss, Malcolm Cheek, the general manager of the Wesley Chapel dealership.
Cheek gave his approval and Rowland went to work ordering the car in early June.
As a longtime Mini Cooper enthusiast and the owner of three Minis, Rowland was the perfect person for the job.
After assembly began in Oxfordshire, England, the sparkling black and gray vehicle was delivered to the dealership on July 26.
The Baker Street edition, named for the address of fictional British detective Sherlock Holmes, features a 121-horsepower engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning, black 16-inch twin-spoke alloy wheels, an on-board computer, leather steering wheel, a chrome exterior package, front fog lamps and more. The car also gets good fuel efficiency (28 miles per gallon in the city, 36 mpg highway).
“Minis are very popular for raffles,” said Rowland. “They’re the kind of car that is a fun car to drive and it’s a car that is still relatively unique.”