KALISPELL — Flathead Valley students raise thousands of dollars each year to help funding various school clubs and special trips.
Kalispell Automotive Group has donated a brand-new vehicle valued at $30,000 for the past 10 years. Various clubs and school groups sell raffle tickets at $10 a piece throughout the school year with a lucky winner being chosen to take home the vehicle at the crosstown basketball game.
Kalispell Automotive Director of Marketing Kayla Ping said all proceeds from raffle tickets sold go directly to each school club or group participating. She said the fundraiser has totaled more than $1 million in funds raised for local schools since its inception 10 years ago.
“Every group within every school in all the districts keeps 100% of the proceeds that they sell, so if basketball sells 20 tickets, they keep that, if band sell 200 tickets, they keep all that money,” said Ping.
A large group of Kalispell Middle School students raised money for their annual history trip to Washington D.C. each May. Kalispell Middle School history teacher Kris Schreiner says a record 80 students will be making the trip this year thanks to strong fundraising efforts.
“Kids ended up selling 2,600 tickets roughly, so we raised a little over $26,000,” said Schreiner.
This year's fundraiser raised more than $88,000 for Kalispell schools and $113,000 valley wide. Kalispell Superintendent Mark Flatau said those funds are vital keeping extra-curricular activities that might be otherwise overlooked, going strong.
“Meeting the supply and equipment needs of a group that just doesn’t have a lot of support as far as district funds, we have a lot of clubs, we have a lot of teams, we have a lot of student organizations and they all can benefit directly from this fundraiser,” said Flatau.
This year's winner, a Kalispell resident, took home a brand new 2020 Toyota Tundra.