March 24, 2016 - Gillespie IL – Elaine Gray of Gillespie is the winner of the single $5,000 prize in The Partnership for Educational Excellence’s first Grand Raffle.
Elaine, who bought her winning ticket at Hicks Maytag Home Appliance Center in Gillespie, and her husband Kevin immediately donated $2,000 back to The Partnership.
The Gray family is very familiar with the 501(c)3 education foundation. Their son Dane, who now works in finance in St. Louis, and their twin daughters Molly and Ellen, who are students at Maryville University in St. Louis, have each been awarded a Partnership tuition scholarship.
The Grays have also been involved in Community Unit School District 7 (CUSD7) schools. Elaine volunteered in classrooms for many years; Kevin, a local businessman, has been involved with both the boys’ and girls’ basketball programs at Gillespie High School (GHS), focusing on the girls’ program recently. In addition, Kevin is a former director of The Partnership.
"Kevin and I recognize all the hard work The Partnership puts in to helping CUSD7,” says Elaine. “It is an honor to donate to The Partnership which does such a great job in helping all the children in our school district."
The Grand Raffle was kicked off at The Partnership’s annual “For the Love of Education” trivia night on 13 February. Only 400 tickets, each costing $20, were sold by directors as well as at Hicks Maytag in Gillespie and Fireside Eye Care in Benld.
“We are so thankful to Elaine for donating back $2,000 of her winnings!,” says John Fassero, Jr., president of The Partnership. “The Gray’s generosity is remarkable. Every dollar from raffle ticket sales and from their gift will go directly into the hands of CUSD7 students in the form of classroom mini-grants. Their gift plus our income from our annual trivia event total $5,000. Warm thanks to every trivia player, raffle purchaser, and especially to the Kevin and Elaine.”
The winning ticket was drawn on Sunday 20 March by CUSD7 Superintendent Joe Tieman at the annual PTO spaghetti dinner at the Ben-Gil Elementary School.
The Partnership, founded in 1992, offers classroom mini-grants to teacher applicants for curriculum materials. In addition, scholarships are offered to GHS graduates to cover tuition and fees in post-secondary institutions, including technical, community, and four-year colleges and universities.