Fifth-grader Stephen Mammola was at recess one day when he decided he wanted to do something to make a difference. He came up with the idea for a raffle and, with the help of three friends and CV Starr Principal Theresa Cherry, decided to donate money raised to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
They gathered supplies. Phoenix Siuda brought in an empty cheese ball bucket. Jackson Sabath brought in raffle tickets. Along with Mammola and Frank Tumminello, the friends took their supplies to the fifth-grade lunches and began selling raffle tickets for 50 cents each.
Knowing that every good raffle needs a compelling prize, Mammola and Siuda headed to Bounce in Danbury, CT.
“We went to Bounce and we talked to the manager and asked him ‘Could you possibly give us a gift card as a prize?’” Mammola explained. “We told him what we were doing and he said ‘Yeah, sure!’ He came back with four gift cards: two for Bounce and two for Thrillz.”
Needless to say, the boys were ecstatic with the outcome of their trip. “We’re going to write a thank you note to him,” Mammola said. “I’m so happy. That was so great. It definitely pushed kids a little to participate.”
The prizes definitely helped motivate fellow students. One student even brought in $30. After telling his church about the raffle, everyone chipped in some money. The boys were excited to announce that teachers and janitors participated in the raffle as well.
The raffle raised well over $100 — and winners Caylie Constantin, Andrada Ion, Amirah Alexander, and Angel Romero can’t wait to use their prizes.
Mammola, Sabath, Siuda, and Tumminello used many of Brewster’s Strategic Coherence Plan skills to get this raffle up and running. First, they felt a pull to civic responsibility and making the world a better place. From there, they had to use communication and collaboration as well as critical thinking skills to plan the raffle, have it approved by the administration, and secure prizes. They also had to communicate effectively with their peers to let them know what they were doing and how to participate.