MHS raffle has unexpected benefits

Published 10:53 am Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When members of the McKenzie Quarterback Club referred to their $1,000 Wal-Mart gift card raffle as a “stimulus package,” they had no idea it would end up helping impact the lives of young orphans.

In a drawing during halftime of Friday night’s spring football game, Hense Ellis was named the winner of the raffle and recipient of the gift card.

Ellis, who is originally from Fort Deposit and now lives in Clanton, said that some of the money will go to charity.

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“I work with a charity called Orphans No More, and it helps out orphans in the Ukraine,” he said. “I’ve been twice myself, and the kids are amazing. They really appreciate what we do.”

“I’m definitely going to pick up a football for them,” Ellis added with a laugh.

The charity also has a camp in Chilton County, and there are plans to bring some of the orphans to visit Alabama.

“We need some things to spruce that up, so this will definitely help there too,” Ellis said.

More than 1,000 people bought a ticket for the raffle, and athletic director Miles Brown said it was McKenzie’s most successful yet.

In past years, the Tigers have raffled off a lawnmower and a cruise.

“We thought about Wal-Mart because they’ve helped us out so much by allowing us to sell at their stores in Greenville and Andalusia,” said Quarterback Club president Greg Griffin.

“I thought the raffle went well,” Brown said. “The players and cheerleaders did a great job selling, and we raised more than before. Fundraising is vital to our success. We really want to thank everyone that bought a ticket.”