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St. Patrick's Day Party and Raffle at Archbishop Walsh March 21

Wed, Mar 11th 2020 02:00 pm

OLEAN — There is expected to be plenty of fun — and hopefully a wee bit of good fortune — when the annual St. Patrick’s Day Party and Raffle is held March 21 at Archbishop Walsh Academy.

Event coordinator Joe Sempolinski said tickets are still available for the event which will be held from 7 to 11 p.m. at the 208 North 24th St. school in Olean.

He said the event, which typically draws in over 500 guests and raises nearly $100,000 each year, is one of the school’s largest fundraisers. Proceeds support academic and athletic programs for students at Walsh and Southern Tier Catholic School.

“This was originally a fundraiser for our sports team going to a tournament … and then it evolved over time to be our largest fundraiser for the school,” Sempolinski said. “We also have our gala (charity auction) in the fall, so we have two big fundraisers each year.”

He said the gist of the St. Patrick’s Day Party are the raffles which include 50/50 drawings, lottery ticket chances, a betting wheel and the chance to win the grand prize of $20,000. Other cash prizes throughout the night will be for the amounts of $5,000, $2,500, two $1,000 prizes, five $500 prizes, and 10 $200 prizes for a total of $34,000 in cash prizes.

Sempolinski said tickets are still available, but they are selling quickly. The ticket fee is $100 for two attendees, which entitles eligibility for all cash prize drawings as well as an open bar of wine, beer and soda, as well as a beef-on-weck dinner. In addition, the event will feature a guest DJ as well as a live performance by the Olean Area Irish Dancers.

“We try to sell as many tickets as we can but we do max it out,” he continued. “But this will be a lot better odds than scratch off or lottery tickets.”

He said if anything else, the event is a fun time for everybody who attends.

“If you buy your ticket for the raffle that also lets you into the event, which has live music, food and drink,” he added.

Sempolinski, director of development at the school, said the end result is to raise funds to help the school remain viable as well as help students attend the private facility.

“You have to fundraise to make up for the fact that not every student can pay full tuition,” he explained. “We have students from all throughout the Olean, Salamanca and Bradford (Pa.) region.”

He noted Walsh is the only Catholic high school in an area stretching from Elmira to Erie, Pa. Additionally, Southern Tier Catholic provides the only Catholic primary education in the area, except for a school in Wellsville. He said there are approximately 150 students on campus.

Tickets can be purchased at the following locations in Olean: Worth W. Smith, 1624 W. State St.; Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, 301 North Union St.; Sports Locker, 711 West State St.; The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels Church, 202 South Union St.; St. John’s Church, 931 North Union St.; and El Sombrero Mexican Restaurant, 315 North Union St. Tickets can also be purchased by contacting the school at 372-8122; or online at www.stcswalsh.org.

Additional information regarding the St. Patrick’s Day Party and Raffle can be found by visiting stcswalsh.org or by calling the school.

(Contact reporter Kate Day Sager at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter, @OTHKate)

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