An opportunity to help local college-bound students, organizations and yourself is now available.
As Jackson County, Brownstown and the state of Indiana all prepare to celebrate their 200th anniversary in 2016, the Bicentennial Planning Committee of Jackson County is inviting people to get involved in the Jackson County Lotto Scholarship Fund.
This yearlong fundraiser by the nonprofit organization will generate assets for scholarships and funding for Jackson County interests potentially totaling more than $540,000.
The scholarships will be available for high school students from Brownstown Central, Crothersville, Medora, Seymour and Trinity Lutheran. The fund also will provide $336,500 to 30 winners who participate in the fundraiser.
“It’s a lot of work, but it’s an honor to be involved in something like this that’s going to touch so many kids,” said Carl Shake of the bicentennial committee.
The options are to contribute $5, $10 or $20 per week. Pledges are to be made in 12 payments on the last Monday of each month beginning in April and culminating in March 2016. Payments can be made on a one-time basis or no later than the due date of each month.
Players, who must be at least 18 years old, have the option of assigning up to two alternates. Pledges will be forfeited if payments are not up-to-date and could be reassigned to an alternate.
In each of the three categories, there will be 500 pledges with 10 payouts. The odds of taking home a prize are 1 in 50.
John Schafstall with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1925 in Seymour, which is providing the gaming license for the committee, said those odds are better than buying a Hoosier Lotto (1 in 12 million) or Powerball (1 in 175 million) ticket.
Payouts for those contributing $5 per week range from $250 to $25,000; $10 per week payouts go from $500 to $50,000; and $20 per week payouts are from $500 to $100,000.
“They are giving a bunch of money to kids to help them get an education, and they are going to get rich doing it,” Schafstall said of those who get involved.
Shake said that within the next two weeks a mailer will go out to every resident in Jackson County. It will include information about the Lotto Scholarship Fund and an application.
He added you don’t have to be from Jackson County to participate.
All of the money collected will be put in a bank in the VFW’s name.
“We’ll be bonded for $1 million, so there’s nothing that could happen to this,” Schafstall said. “There’s a lot of people that put money into stuff, and they are like, ‘How do I know this is going to happen?’ This has been thought out, and it’s really secured.”
The drawing will be conducted around April 1, 2016. All winners will be contacted directly within 10 days of the drawing date and will be responsible for any applicable state or federal taxes.
The Community Foundation of Jackson County will administer the scholarship funds.
“What we’re shooting for is at least $100,000 to each of the five schools,” Shake said. “That’s our goal, but we really think we’re going to go over that goal.”
The schools will work with the foundation in evaluating scholarship applications. They will then decide the amount and number of scholarships they want to give out.
“We wanted one of the things that was pretty close to the top was financial need,” Shake said. “We want the ones that have financial need to have a little advantage.”
The committee’s hope is to have scholarship money help seniors for years to come.
“What we want to do is keep it where it’s going on forever and it will live on the interest,” Shake said.
Shake said it takes $1 million to pay the 30 winners, provide scholarship money to each of the county schools and earmark some funds for the community foundation and Jackson County History Center.
Now, it’s just a matter of getting people involved.
The committee already has gathered some funds to plan the 2016 bicentennial. Organizers have been working to get all of the county’s communities, schools and churches involved in the celebration.
Shake said committees will be established to help finalize the schedule of events, which will be announced later this year.
“It’s just a pleasure to be involved with it,” he said.
People now have an opportunity to get involved with the Jackson County Lotto Scholarship Fund as part of the 2016 bicentennial celebration.
Mailers, including contest information and an application, will go out to all Jackson County residents within the next couple of weeks.
For information, call Carl Shake at 812-528-3300.