NICEVILLE -- The Niceville High School Eagle Pride band recently carried out its annual Super 50/50 Drawing and made the day of a New York City nurse as a result. The grand prize was over $14,000.
The Super 50/50 Drawing, a fundraiser for the band program, is conducted for several months in the beginning of the year, with the drawing traditionally held at the annual Jazz Dinner. Given the current requirement for social distancing, the band had to come up with an alternative method. Rather than have the annual Jazz Dinner, band Director Dan Wooten and Band Booster President Doug Woodley carried out the drawing live on Facebook and Instagram.
Since the Super 50/50 Drawing is a greater scale than the typical drawing, students are able to sell tickets to family and friends across the country. One of these cross-country family members was Laura Dutton, a New York City nurse on the front line of the current healthcare crisis.
Dutton won $14,830 from this year‘s drawing after buying tickets from her niece, who is a member of the band.
Woodley was able to speak with Dutton immediately after she won.
"She was very grateful and obviously excited for the opportunity to help the band," Woodley said. "I’m not sure winning the prize was really in the front of her mind. She had simply purchased tickets to support what we do here in Niceville."
Eagle Pride Director Dan Wooten summed up the event saying, "Well, we’d certainly have rather been at the usual Jazz Dinner, listening to these incredibly talented musicians, but we were still very happy to have drawing on its own. Knowing it went to Ms. Dutton, as she makes her way through a tough time, makes it even better."
The Eagle Pride is working with the school district to get the money sent to Dutton, with the usual tax withholding, as quickly as possible. The New York nurse said she had no immediate plans for the new addition to her bank account but was very appreciative for the chance to take part in the fundraiser, Woodley said.