The Laingsburg Educational Advancement Foundation (LEAF) netted more than $11,000 from its seventh-annual Reverse Raffle fundraiser held recently at Eagle Eye Golf Club. The event – which sold out for the second year with only 150 raffle tickets available – raises money for grants for Laingsburg Community Schools teachers, student groups, and staff.

The two finalists – Maggie Sayles and Matt Rann, both of Laingsburg – decided to combine and split their winnings. Rather than a grand prize of $3,000 and a second place of $500, each took home $1,750. If the last two ticketholders decide to do this, explained LEAF Reverse Raffle Chair Dane Nichols, there is no need to draw the final numbers, and the event is over.

The Laingsburg High School Jazz Band, recipient of several LEAF grants over the years, provided excellent entertainment through dinner.

Several other winners took home a total of over $15,000 in cash and prizes such as golf packages, artwork and crafts from area artists, gift certificates to local businesses, Lugnuts suite passes, and hotel stays. There were also side games, including 50/50 drawings, and second-chance raffles.

The raffle has generated more than $60,000 in its six-year run. This year, LEAF gave over $22,000 in grants to LCS, thanks to fundraisers like the raffle.

Emceeing the event were LEAF Past-President Carrie Rathbun Hawks and 2014 Laingsburg Community Schools’ Wall of Fame Inductee Tom Turek. Along with Nichols, committee members were Clint Hawks, Emily Baynes, Lisa Shastal, Diana Carpenter, and April Rowley. Several other LEAF Board and community members also helped sell tickets.

“We especially want to thank Eagle Eye’s owners and managers who helped us tremendously by donating some of their fees,” said Nichols. “Their entire crew was a joy and so helpful. We couldn’t have had as much success without them.” LEAF will use the net proceeds of the raffle to continue to support innovative educational opportunities for Laingsburg students. For a list of funded projects, visit

LEAF is a Michigan nonprofit corporation and a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization that provides grants to teachers and students within the Laingsburg Community Schools. Since its inception in 1992, LEAF has given out more than $240,000 in grants.   (Courtesy Photo)

LEAF Reverse Raffle was last modified: May 10th, 2016 by Karen Elford