LA GRANGE – On Monday nights, the crowd at Kenny’s Irish Pub in Countryside collectively holds its breath and eagerly awaits the ticket that is drawn at 7 p.m.
It’s the popular Queen of Hearts Raffle, where participants have the chance to win thousands of dollars and help raise money for St. Cletus School in La Grange.
Unfortunately for this week’s ticketholders, there was no winner in the 50-50 raffle, which is going on its 15th Monday without a winner. The pot, which now stands at $13,250, rolls over to next week’s drawing, and once someone does win, that lucky ticketholder will split the money with the school.
St. Cletus Principal Tom Chinske said the game isn’t only a great fundraiser for the school, but also a fun way to bring the community together.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to bring former families and employees together with current families and the public to reunite and socialize,” he said. “It’s been fun, and we hope it continues to grow.”
Each week, the public is invited to purchase tickets at $1 each or six for $5 from Kenny’s, and one ticket is drawn with a number from 1 to 54 written on it. That number is flipped on the professional game board, and if the Queen of Hearts is revealed underneath the number, that ticketholder wins the prize. Each time a number is chosen, it is out of play for the following Monday, and new tickets need to be purchased every week.
Eileen Dorchinecz, mother of two St. Cletus students, said she purchases tickets every week and now looks forward to Monday nights when she and her children can enjoy dinner while socializing with community members.
“As far as fundraisers go, this is perfect,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to win for a while so the pot keeps growing. And I hope I’m the winner. It’s nice that we can go there after the kids’ games or practices and meet up with other families for a fun night.”
St. Cletus Assistant Principal Christy Schaefer said the game has the potential to go on for 54 weeks if there is no winner, and once there is a winner, a new game will begin. About 700 to 1,200 tickets are sold for each week’s drawing, she said.
“We’re a family at this school, and getting together has been the best part,” Schaefer said. “We wanted to bring the community together and benefit the school in a way that will help us get things that are not in our operating budget.”
The raffle is open to the public and held each Monday at Kenny’s Irish Pub. Tickets are available during Kenny’s regular business hours, and they must be purchased by 6:45 p.m. Monday for that week’s drawing.