It goes without saying that businesses are doing it tough in 2020. Restrictions, border closures and weeks of lockdown have undeniably wreaked havoc on the Cairns economy.
So, when the P & F Association at Trinity Park’s Holy Cross School started planning their annual Christmas Raffle – going online for the first time ever this year – they did not feel right asking for donations when business owners were already being hit hard.
They came up with a novel way of helping the Cairns community – the Giving Back Raffle. Instead of seeking donations, the P & F purchased vouchers from many Far North businesses to put money back into their pockets.
“We had previously considered taking our raffle online but hadn’t had the courage to leap into the online world,” P & F Events Coordinator Michelle Wild said.
“With COVID’s help, the decision was made to embrace online ticketing, and change our focus from ‘giving to Holy Cross’ to ‘Holy Cross giving to you’.”
The P & F dipped into its funds from previous events, to give back to local businesses who have supported the school in the past. Sponsors who have donated in previous years will also be promoted on the raffle website.
There are 50 prizes up for grabs, with a total value of $5000. Entrants could win a family day trip to Green Island with Great Adventures, an overnight getaway at the Pullman Reef Casino or an annual family pass to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures. There are also countless dining experiences on offer, as well as beauty and health offerings and family fun packages.
“Not only are we giving businesses a break from donating, we are letting them know that we will support their business as much as we are able during a difficult time,” Michelle said.
“We want them to know that they are not alone.”
Rebeka Pople, owner of Refresh City Day Spa, has previously donated to Holy Cross P & F initiatives and is one of the many business to benefit from this year’s Giving Back Raffle.
She said the initiative was “a wonderful way to give back to the community”.
“I felt a lot of thought had been put into why they wanted to do this,” Rebeka said.
“It showed their concern in giving back to businesses that had supported them with fundraising in the past.”
Rebeka’s business was forced to close for almost eight weeks during the COVID-19 shutdown.
“As with a majority of business, it has been an extremely stressful time both financially and emotionally,” she said.
Other businesses set to benefit from the raffle include CaPTA Group, AJ Hackett, Portofino Palm Cove and many more.
In order to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures, there will be no paper tickets, cash handling or collection of vouchers from the school no door-to-door or community selling – everything will be done online.
Tickets are $5 each and winners will be drawn on September 14. the To get involved, visit: www.raffletix.com.au/givingbackraffle