Giveaway of house to benefit kids' group

$280,000 home is donated to Boys & Girls Club raffle

May 23, 2004|By Amanda Ponko | Amanda Ponko,SUN STAFF

NORTH EAST - The Boys & Girls Club of Cecil County will give away a new house Aug. 1 as part of its House of Dreams Raffle benefiting the 1,200 members of the club and other Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Maryland and Delaware.

The house, built and donated by Gemcraft Homes, is being constructed near the first hole of the Chesapeake Bay Golf Course, on a lot provided by Mason Dixon Realty.

It is expected to be completed next month and will include three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and a two-car garage. Its estimated value is $280,000.

Stephen A. Miller, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club of Cecil County, said the organization's goal is to raise $1 million by selling 100,000 tickets at $10 apiece. It has sold 6,000.

"Ten dollars for a house isn't bad," he said. "It's certainly a good bargain. The odds are a whole lot better than the lottery."

The Boys & Girls Club will also pay the settlement fees and taxes on the house.

Programs offered

The organization offers after-school and summer programs in education, technology, sports and the arts for children ages 6 to 18.

The raffle project began a few months ago, Miller said, when he approached Gemcraft Homes, which donates a home to a nonprofit organization each year, and asked that it contribute to the Boys & Girls Club. Gemcraft Homes President and CEO Bill Luther agreed.

Tickets are being sold at Ripken Stadium, MBRS Financial locations and at Maryland and Delaware Boys & Girls Clubs, including those in Cecil and Harford counties. If a club sells the winning ticket, it will receive a $5,000 bonus.

"We don't want to depend on government funds for our organization," Miller said. "They tend to dry up."

Allison Wagner, director of sales for Gemcraft Homes, said the company is happy with its decision to donate the house to the organization.

"It's our way of contributing back to the county," she said.

Grand opening

The Boys & Girls Club of Cecil will hold a grand opening when the house is completed, Miller said, featuring the Aberdeen IronBirds mascot, Ferrous, and players from the team. Ticket holders will get a chance to tour the home.

"I figure this is a one-time opportunity [for the Boys & Girls Club]," he said. "I don't think they'll be giving away too many houses."

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