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United Way Hopes Raffle Will Augment Donations

Dec. 24, 2008 — To help cushion the predicted loss of donations due to the flagging economy, United Way of St. Thomas/St. John will raffle off jewelry, vacations and more in March.
"Right now, our Campaign 2009 is at 40 percent of the $800,000 goal, and we have less than six weeks left to get pledges from generous contributors," Penny Woods, who chairs Campaign 2009, said in a news release issued Tuesday.
United Way Director Cherise Creque expects the demand for United Way services to increase as more people find they need help. She said the territory's tourism industry, which is the economy's mainstay, has already laid people off and cut hours.
"Those people are looking for food stamps and to non-profits for help," Creque said.
While non-profit organizations are prepared to deal with their usual clients such as homeless people, the bad economy's impact on the middle class is something unexpected.
"This is a new segment of people," Creque said.
The raffle prizes include a $9,000 week at the Marina Fiesta Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico contributed by Caribbean Fun Stays, a seven-day Caribbean cruise for two sponsored by the West Indian Co., a $2,500 paint job by Bay Painters, and an H. Stern white gold necklace.
The prizes also feature local hotel stays including a three-night stay in an oceanfront room with breakfast at Biras Creek Resort on Virgin Gorda and hotels stays at Bluebeard's Castle Hotel and Best Western's Carib and Emerald Beach properties. A stay at Bolongo Bay Beach Resort also includes activities.
Raffle tickets run $10 each. Anyone who buys a book of 10 tickets gets he 11th one free. The drawing will be held March 27.
United Way will sell the tickets from noon to 5 p.m. Friday at Tutu Park Mall. They're also available at United Way's Nisky Center office or from board members and partner organizations.
United Way supports 15 organizations including the American Red Cross, Boy Scouts of America, Catholic Charities, Civil Air Patrol, Dial-A-Ride St. John, Dial-A-Ride St. Thomas, Ebenezer Gardens, Habitat for Humanity, Legal Services of the Virgin Islands, Lutheran Reformation Summer Program, St. Andrews Sunny Saints summer program, St. Thomas Reformed Church summer program, Savan Boys Club, Yellow Cedar Group Home, and the V.I. Institute for Teaching and Learning.
For more information, call Creque at 774-3185 or visit www.unitedway.vi.

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