Time is running out. Nerves are getting tense.
Will the community step up and support the YMCA as it has before? Based on ticket sales for this year’s Easter House, some are not so sure.
As of last month, the YMCA’s largest fundraiser was 3,000 tickets behind where organizers had hoped it would be.
The fundraiser brings in money used to provide scholarships for children and families to participate in YMCA programs, including preschool, afterschool, and even summer camps.
The $10 ticket gives you a chance to win the grand prize – an 1,882-square-foot, 4-bedroom, 2-bath home in Indiantown, in Martin County.
Don’t want the home? No problem. The lucky winner can choose either the house or a lump-sum cash prize of $110,000.
Charlene Lyons, YMCA of the Treasure Coast vice president, said the option to choose is given because not everyone might want the house itself.
There are “myriad reasons,” she said, not the least of which being that the winner might already own a home or isn’t looking to move to Indiantown.
Still, with an expected 50,000 to 60,000 tickets to be sold, “it’s a better chance to win an Easter House than a lottery ticket,” Lyons said.
This year’s Easter House is built by Villa Franca Homes and is valued at $219,000. It’s the Caloosa model home and features a covered front entrance as well as a covered rear patio.
This is the fourth year in a row the builder has participated in the Easter House fundraiser.
“I donated my house for a good cause, giving back to local children,” said builder Eugene “Gino” Francavilla. “The Easter house gives the opportunity for the lucky winner a dream house.”
Lyons said that the YMCA Treasure Coast continues to be grateful for Villa Franca Homes’ partnership, given that the Y couldn’t hold its biggest fundraiser without a house to raffle off.
“We’re very appreciative of their support of the YMCA,” Lyons said.
The organization hopes to raise between $500,000 and $600,000 with the fundraiser, which equates to 2,500 scholarships averaging more than $200 each.
The Y supports St. Lucie, Indian River, Martin, and Okeechobee counties with various programs.
In St. Lucie, there are three facilities – including two in Port St. Lucie and a third in Fort Pierce.
Applications for scholarships are available through the YMCA Treasure Coast and are approved based on the national poverty level.
They are awarded on a sliding scale based on household income.
Along with a chance to win a brand-new house or cold hard cash, those purchasing multiple tickets for the Easter House fundraiser also have a chance to win a 2017 Harley Davidson “Iron 883” motorcycle from Treasure Coast Harley Davidson. Tickets for the motorcycle are limited to 20,000 – further increasing participants’ chances.
But the time for purchasing tickets is drawing to a close. The drawing for the Easter House and other prizes will be held March 29. Winners will be notified via phone call or certified mail.
To buy tickets, go www.YMCAEasterHouse.org/order. For more information, call YMCA Treasure Coast at 877-WIN-YMCA (946-9622).