Run for Hope fundraiser conducts virtual raffle in place of postponed event

Ava Dreyer, Staff writer

Weston High School sophomores Tally Zeller, Emilia Tutun, and Julie Hohenberg created an event called Run for Hope, which has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was supposed to take place on April 4. 

We aren’t able to have an event until further notice,” Tutun stated. “We are waiting until social distancing is over so we can actually host a big event.

Run for Hope is a fundraiser to raise money for veterans. The students’ main goal is to raise money for NECHV, the New England Center and Home for Veterans. 

“We want to raise money for veterans and anything they need,” Tutun said. “Hopefully the money we raise will help fund wellness programs, tuition, meals, and housing support for veterans in need.”

Even though the actual event is postponed, Zeller, Tutun, and Hohenberg are still finding ways to help NECHV.

We were able to continue the raffle virtually and raise over $2,100,” Zeller said.

The raffle caught the eye of businesses in the area who were willing to donate to the cause.

  We have received more donations from local businesses after our raffle like Canobie Lake Park, and Rice Burg,” Hohenberg said.

Since the virtual raffle was so successful, the students are planning another one soon. 

“We are currently working on a virtual fundraiser based on the NECHV’s current needs,” Hohenberg said. “They have sent us their Amazon wish list, which includes necessities for veterans who are residents there, and we are looking at ways to fundraise and purchase these items on their wish list.”

Zeller, Tutun, and Hohenberg are also thinking about how they can help veterans who may be struggling in this quarantine. 

“We are also considering fundraisers for sponsoring meals for the veterans residing at the facility, or for veterans who have not had a chance to grocery shop and meal-prep during this time and need a safe and sanitary place to eat,” Hohenberg said.

Although there is no official date for when Run for Hope will happen after quarantine, the students are remaining positive with their thoughts about the event.

“We will revisit the chance of hosting an in-person fundraiser and look at what is happening with COVID-19 this summer, fingers crossed!” Hohenberg said.