Every April since 1967 San Francisco’s Japan Town has hosted the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival, a celebration of blooming cherry blossoms and Japanese culture. It’s a pretty big deal with parades, music, food, contests and 200,000 guests over the course of the two weekends it runs.
It also has a raffle. A raffle that, at least in 2014, did a far, far better job at getting prizes donated then at selling tickets. I know this because I got pressed into volunteering at the raffle booth last year. I saw the raffle end with unsold tickets, and watched people who had bought multiple tickets win big – prizes like $10K in cash, two free trip first class tickets to Japan, a $1000 lap top and so on. So this year I made a plan
- Take the free name and address labels charities send me and go to the Cherry Blossom Festival
- Buy $120 worth of raffle tickets and apply name and address stickers
- Allow Klondike to experience a new place (he’s never been to Japan Town) not to mention the sights, sounds and smell of a festival
- Win grand prize ($10,000 cash) and second prize (first class round trip tickets to Japan) in raffle
Steps one to three went flawlessly, even if Klon was a little disappointed at all the food on the pavement I stopped him eating and not digging all of the loud music. Step four didn’t quite work out… won absolutely nothing, not even a $50 gift certificate. But hey, I still achieved three of our steps, which means I scored 75%, which is passing, right?
Note: None of the pics on this page except for the raffle tickets above were taken by me. So thanks everyone!