Brainerd school raises $58,380 in million-dollar fundraiser 10-years strong

Top raffle ticket sellers honored.

Photo illustration /

Brainerd, MN -- When you achieve a goal 10 years in a row, that achievement isn’t a fluke or luck. It’s a habit. Students and staff at St. Francis of the Lakes School put in the extra effort this year by raising $58,380 through the Catholic United Financial Raffle and helped achieve the program’s tenth year in a row of raising more than one million for Catholic schools in the Upper Midwest.

Since Jan.13, students of St. Francis of the Lakes sold $5 raffle tickets as part of the Catholic United Financial Raffle, a fundraising program provided free of charge by sponsor Catholic United Financial since 2009. St. Francis of the Lakes is one of 85 schools in Minnesota and South Dakota that participated in 2023 and raised a combined total of $1,389,332 for Catholic Education. The school exceeded its fundraising goal of $50,000.

“To achieve this level of success for 10 straight years is a testimony to the dedication of Catholic school families and staff, and the communities that surround them,” said Michael Ahles, president and CEO of program sponsor Catholic United Financial. “We’re honored that we could unite our 75,000-plus members of Catholic United with the students and staff of St. Francis of the Lakes and the community of Brainerd. Congratulations on an amazing program.”

The six-week selling period concluded on Feb. 26. As the tickets were sold and money came in, families and staff counted their results, knowing that they would keep every dollar their school raised. Catholic United Financial provided all promotional materials, raffle tickets and prizes for the program at no cost to each school.

On March 9, the Raffle officially wrapped up with a prize drawing ceremony broadcast live on the Catholic United Financial website. The prizes, valued at over $45,000, included a new 2023 Chevy Trax SUV, a dream vacation, grills, a Soft Tub© Spa, electronics, gift cards and more. Catholic United also rewarded the hard work of the top selling students Carter and Bailey Dehn at St. Francis of the Lakes School with a Singing Machine karaoke system and the chance to win a scholarship worth up to $500.


Funds raised by participating schools, like St. Francis of the Lakes School are used to enhance school programs and facilities, including funding field trips, building playgrounds, supplementing tuition costs and providing new education technology.

Video, photos and a list of prizewinners and results are available at: .

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