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Raffle raises funds for community projects

Gurnee  Sunday  11/4/12   

Dick NelsWaukegan calls out winning numbers during Sunday's raffle Gurnee American LegiPost. |

Gurnee Sunday, 11/4/12 Dick Nelson, of Waukegan calls out the winning numbers during Sunday's raffle at the Gurnee American Legion Post. | Brian O'Mahoney~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 4, 2013 1:44AM

The turkey for this year’s Thanksgiving dinner cost Krystal Balmes of Volo just two dollars.

Balmes bought a raffle ticket for Gurnee American Legion Post 771’s annual Ham and Turkey Raffle, which was held Sunday.

One $2 ticket gave Balmes three chances at an 11- to 12-pound turkey or ham, or a free drink chip for the bar. Balmes won a turkey.

“We’re here to support the legion,” Balmes said. When asked what she was going to do with her turkey, she said she planned to “cook it and eat it, probably for Thanksgiving.”

Lauren Plate of Gurnee comes to the raffle every year. She got a ham.

“I would rather win a turkey, but I’m grateful. We’ll enjoy it,” Plate said.

A total of 10 hams and 10 turkeys were raffled off Sunday, according to Post Cmdr. Cordon Finkel.

“The raffle is at least in its 70th year,” Finkel said. “It’s a fund-raiser and a fun time.”

The bar area was full. People bought their tickets, someone from the post spun the wheel and called out the winning number. A legion member’s son made the wheel for the legion.

The event brings in between $600 to $1,000. Proceeds help local veterans.

They also pay for the upkeep of the baseball fields on the post’s property, funds scholarships for local students and benefits food pantries, according to post treasurer Bob Long.

“A lot of money goes to civic (services). We usually donate for Thanksgiving and host (Navy) recruits at Gurnee Community Church,” Long said.

The post’s auxiliary will bake 40 pies for recruits this Thanksgiving, according to auxiliary historian Nancy Long.

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