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Home Columns JGL Eye A Thanksgiving Special: A Dinner Dance to Thank For
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Columns - JGL Eye
Friday, 26 November 2010 15:29

 

JGL Eye

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

Journal Group Link International)

  

Editor’s Note: The Dean of Filipino Correspondents in America Finally Wins a Raffle Prize for the First Time Ever at a Church Thanksgiving Party

  

C HICAGO (jGLi) – For many participants to fund-raising events, winning the prizes for raffle ticket drawings is among the come-ons, like the sumptuous meal, the ambience and the opportunity to renew friendship with community members and meet someone new.

 

But not for me.

 

In so many events that I had attended, in buying raffle tickets, winning the door prize has never figured as my main motivation. All that matters to me was that I was able to support whatever any worthy cause there was.

 

When one of the raffle-ticket vendors, Ms. Susan Silvano, one of the leading parishioners of the St. Gregory the Great Church in Chicago's northside, sold me raffle tickets at the Second Annual Thanksgiving Dinner Dance of St. Gregory the Great Church last Nov. 6 at the church’s gym, I only parted with my $5 for six chances of winning just to contribute to the church’s fund-raising effort. Nothing else.

 

Winning the lone prize never crossed my mind.

 

Never had I won in a raffle contest before.

 

Besides, watching everyone dancing the night away was all that mattered for me.

 

In fact, I was even pleasantly surprised to see the parish pastor, Rev. Paul Wachdorf, dancing all night. And he could give contestants of the “Dancing with the Stars” a run for their money.

 

Yes, Father Wachdorf can dance!

 

MORE THAN AN EXERCISE

 

A nd it looked like dancing for him was more than an exercise to bulk up his skinny frame as he has the moves that swing with the music.

 

Of course, I plunked my $20 entrance fee also for the food catered by Ranalli’s of Anderson on 1512 West Berwyn near the church. And I enjoyed the Italian courses.

 

Because I was full, I had no choice but to burn some calories by following the infectious footsteps and body language of Father Wachdorf and the other dancers.

 

After almost two hours of listening to music and watching the dancing, the drawing of raffle was announced. And that was the signal that I had to call it a night.

 

As the raffle drawing is always the high point of a dinner event, I turned to leave since I never expected to win.

 

In fact, I turned over my raffle tickets to my sister, Dr. Dona L. Hernandez, a veterinarian, and bid farewell to her and my brother, Ray, and his wife, Angie, because I had always been a loser in raffle contests.

 

My sister was pleasantly surprised by my gesture.

 

I was already by the door when I remembered that I did not take test photo shots of my new 4G iPod Touch. And I wanted to train my shots on my sister, who was wearing a pretty dress. So, I asked my wife, Josie, and our Kirk, that we go back to my sister’s table.

 

OUT OF FOCUS

 

W hile I was training my iPod’s camera on my sister, the raffle announcer read out the winning raffle. I did not realize that although my sister was looking at my camera, her attention was focused on the raffle ticket numbers I gave her.

 

When all the numbers were announced, instinctively, my sister exclaimed, “Nanalo tayo!” (We won!).

 

Spontaneously, I told my sister, “Quick, get the raffle prize so I can take your picture.” Although, I was escorting my sister to the raffle announcer, I still could not believe it.

 

I finally came to believe only while I was already taking her picture while receiving an envelope from Father Wachdorf.

 

When she opened it, she counted $200 as the single prize winner, equivalent to the $400 money raised for the selling of the raffle tickets for the night.

 

My brother, Ray, approached us and he suggested to her, “Dapat hating kapatid kayo" (you should divide the winnings between the two of you.)

 

Surprised, I grudgingly accepted the $100 from my sister. It was the first time I ever won a raffle contest.

 

Perhaps, Shakespeare’s Juliet may be right after all when she told her Romeo “parting is such sweet sorrow. That I shall say good night till it be morrow.”

 

But for me, when I left the dinner dance, it was such a pleasure since I won $100 from a raffle contest, something that I never even bargained for.

 

Now, I am looking forward to St. Gregory the Great Church third annual thanksgiving dinner dance next year.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to all! # # #

 

Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

 


Last Updated on Friday, 26 November 2010 15:40
 

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