Edmonds Military Wire: Lottery program raises $150,000 for Washington veterans

By Michael Schindler

It’s not often we can point to the lottery and attribute specific good that comes from purchasing a ticket. Sure, we know that some funds go toward education construction (repairing schools), stadium debt reduction (still a bit controversial) and the General Fund (the black hole). But how often can we say, “I’m proud to purchase a lottery ticket?” If you participated in the Hometown Heroes Raffle, you can.

I am pleased to announce that the special lottery program, Hometown Heroes Raffle (launched last year), contributed $150,000 to the state Department of Veterans Affairs.

The $10 raffle tickets benefited the state’s Veterans Innovations Program. The service provides crisis and emergency relief, plus education, training and employment assistance for Washington veterans returning from post-9/11 conflicts.

Consumers purchased 98 percent of the 300,000 Hometown Heroes Raffle tickets. Officials announced the total Jan. 17.

“The Hometown Heroes Raffle created a way for the Veterans Innovations Program to continue to assist Washington’s veterans where previously there was no future funding available,” Department of Veterans Affairs Director John Lee said in a statement. “We’re very thankful to have the lottery as a partner. With their help we can continue to serve the men and women in our state who have served us so bravely.”

State lottery officials plan to make another contribution to the program in the months ahead after calculating unclaimed prizes and total costs.

“These brave men and women have selflessly served here at home and abroad, we’re doing everything we can do ensure they receive the most funding as possible from the game’s ticket sales.” said Bill Hanson, director of Washington’s Lottery.

So, should you see the program made available again, consider purchasing a ticket. No matter the outcome, there is a winner!

Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include  “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.”  He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.

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