Sunday, March 29, 2009

Raffle Drawing for the RSE

(Psst... stay with me through the long story, there's a raffle drawing with fabulous prizes farther down.)


I don't talk much about my viola playing on this blog, but music has always been a big part of my life. Shortly after I started teaching, a cello playing colleague of mine asked if I would be interested in joining a newly formed (and very small) group of amateur string players.

At the beginning there were not many of us - I can remember nights when we were just a quartet of three violins and me. However over the past ten years our group, the Roseville String Ensemble, has grown into a community treasure.

We now have about 40 players (representing a wide age range from just out of college to past retirement), a permanent conductor, and a history of attracting some of the area's finest soloists. We perform three free concerts a year encouraging attendees to bring a non-perishable item for our local food shelf.

The RSE runs on a very lean budget funded by donations, and a small locally funded grant. With this we pay a meager amount to our conductor and soloists as well as purchase music and rent space for our concerts.

It's no surprise in these "tough economic times" that our donations are not what they have been in the past. In addition to that, we have recently found out that the group which provided us with an annual grant will not be able to continue that funding. As it stands, the Roseville String Ensemble will not have enough funding to continue for the 09-10 season.

RSE Viola

I truly believe this group is a community treasure - providing a quality musical experience free for anyone. The Roseville String Ensemble is also a personal treasure. Without it I know I would no longer have a place to enjoy playing my viola with others. When I meet up with someone I know from college or high school, I am often asked, "so... are you still playing?" I am always so happy and proud to say that I am.

I am also proud that my son is growing up seeing me as part of this group. It is such a gift that he can watch me enjoying instrumental music as an adult, as well as see me as a person with varied interests and passions.
I love that he loves music, that he is interested in my viola and all kinds of other instruments, and that he enjoys attending concerts (mine and others).
Without the Roseville String Ensemble I know that I would not be the same kind of musical role model for him.

(Phew! Are you still with me?)

I don’t have unlimited funds to give as much as I would like from my own pocket to the RSE, but something I can give is yarn.

I am suddenly reminded of that masterpiece of film making Three Amigos, specifically the part when the townspeople decide to fight back using their strengths:
Ned Nederlander: This is not a town of weaklings! You can use your strengths against El Guapo. Now, what is it that this town really does well?
Townspeople: Hmmm. Hmmm? Ummm.
[long pause]
Mama Sanchez: We can sew!
Dusty Bottoms: There you go, you can sew.
Ned Nederlander: Ah.
Dusty Bottoms: If only we had known this sooner.

So like the townspeople I am using what I have – yarn and a blog. I am still wincing just a bit at the fact that I have decided to give up some serious stash favorites. I did purchase a few things to go along with the yarn from some of my favorite local shops to round out the prize packages for you.

Now, let's see the fabulous prize packages:

Prize #1 - Much Malabrigo!


6 skeins of Malabrigo worsted (yes, SIX! - that's 1300 yards) in an amazing "garnet" color. Plenty for a larger project like a sweater, or scads of hats and mittens.

Prize value = $66

Prize #2 - Lace and Beads

Malabrigo Lace - Black Forest

2 skeins of Malabrigo Lace (940 yds) in luscious "Black Forest" start off this package.

Malabrigo with Beads

I have not yet knit with beads, but now I can knit vicariously through you. I popped over to my favorite local bead store, the Bead Monkey, and found these amethyst colored beads (about 800 of them) that really bring out the purple in the gray.

Fibula Clasp

If you choose to make a shawl, you may need a pin. This is the third of these shawl pins I've purchased from the swanky LYS conveniently located a few doors down from where I get my hair cut. The first was for me, the second a gift, and the third is for you. I love the simplicity of the design, and that it is always secure without stretching out stitches.

Prize value = $50

Prize #3 - Stuff for Sock Knitters

I am a lover of semi-solids, and I hope you are too.

Stash: ShiBui "Sand"

To start off this package you will receive two skeins of ShibuiKnits Sock in "Sand". I loved knitting with Shibui on the pair of Cascading Leaves I made for a gift last Christmas.

Ok... I have winced as I made the decision to part with all of these skeins, but the next is particularly wince worthy for me.

Honey Wheat

I just love to stare at the rich, semi-solid goodness of this skein of Zen Yarn Garden Gemilicious Fingering in "Honey Wheat". This is a limited edition skein made for Roxanne's Harmony Semi-Solid Sock Yarn Club. I have been in her club for the past 9 months and she never disappoints.

Since this is a package for sock knitters, I added in a set of ten of my stitch markers made specifically for US 2 or smaller needles. I use a strong and stretchy beading elastic to make these markers. It has a give like yarn when you transfer from needle to needle, and it has no rigid, metal circle going around to interfere with your stitches. The metal crimps holding it together are sterling silver with no seams or wrapped wire to snag your project.


Marker - scale

These stitch markers are very light and small - perfect for knitting socks or other projects on small needles. Each marker has a different color combination of beads from a "carnivalle" collection of colors.

Pretty Cheep Project Bag

And what's a sock project without a bag to tote it around in. Along with the sock yarn and markers you will receive a darling screen printed muslin project bag by Fia.

Prize value = $60

Here's how the raffle works:
  • For each $5 you donate to the Roseville String Ensemble, I will enter your name once in the raffle.
  • If you donate $20 (4 entries), I will throw in an extra raffle entry for free - that makes 5 entries to win!
  • With any donation amount, if you also advertise for my raffle with a post on your blog, email me the link, and I will enter your name again for free.
  • In an attempt to keep everything raffle related together, please email me at rosevillestrings[AT]earthlink[DOT]net.

    Please know that every penny you donate will go to the RSE. I am personally donating all prizes and shipping costs.

    Edited to Add:
    Did you know that hosting an online raffle in Minnesota is illegal?
    Yeah... Well... Obviously I did not.
    While I think it would be highly unlikely that the state of MN would take
    notice of my little raffle, I would not want to do anything to jeopardize
    the tax-exempt status of of the Roseville String Ensemble.

    I light of this, I am making a few adjustments so that my fundraising cannot
    be classified as gambling.

    Here's the plan:

    I am now hosting a free to enter drawing with the same fabulous prizes above to bring awareness to the financial need of the Roseville String Ensemble. A
    donation is not required to be a part of the drawing (just comment or send
    me an email), however it is highly encouraged in any amount - since my whole
    goal with giving stuff away is to raise money for the group. (ahem - did I mention a donation in any amount is highly encouraged?) Ok then.

    If you post about my drawing on your own blog, send me a link and I will
    enter your name in the drawing twice.

    All donations via the PayPal link to the Roseville String Ensemble will now
    be tax-deductible (raffle ticket purchases are not). You will receive an
    official donation receipt for tax purposes via email.

    This has me a little deflated, since there was an exciting response from you
    all in the first 24 hours, however I know the online knitting community is
    extremely giving, a I am very confident that my drawing will still
    bring in donations for this very worthy cause.

    This raffle drawing will run through April and end Friday, May 1st. The last concert of the RSE 08-09 season is Sunday, May 3rd. I will announce winners over that weekend and celebrate the results of the raffle donations at our concert.

    Without further ado, I give you the paypal link:

    Special thanks to earthchicknits for her fabulous raffle advice!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, It looks like my first comment didn't work? Anyway, just wanted to say that I donated and I think this is great! I very much hope your orchestra is able to raise enough funds to keep going. I live in the area and love baroque music so I'll be looking up your concert season!

Joanie1803 from Rav Mal Junkies

March 29, 2009 10:53 AM  
Blogger Duncks said...

What a wonderful (and surprisingly local) cause!

I gladly donated and while I'd love nothing more than to win, even if I knew I didn't have a chance - I'd do it again in a heart beat.

I look forward to catching you guys sometime.

Best of luck!
Duncks from Rav Mal Junckies
Minneapolis, MN

March 29, 2009 12:22 PM  
Blogger Nikki said...

I hope y'all raise enough money to continue! I hope to be able to donate soon...

March 29, 2009 6:59 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Well, I just contributed to the Irish it's your turn! That Malabrigo is lovely!

March 30, 2009 2:18 PM  
Blogger cath said...

I wish I lived closer so I could actually hear your group play. But because I think this sort of organization is a great cause, I did make a small donation. Good luck with your fundraising efforts!!

March 30, 2009 5:51 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

If someone from overseas wanted to donate AND offered to pay postage in the unlikely event they were chosen for one of the gift sets, would that be ok? I think any good music should be supported, even if I'd never hear them pay

March 31, 2009 5:42 AM  
Blogger Orinda5 said...

Amy - Thank you so much for your interest in supporting good music! There are no restrictions about where you live and winning a prize. It was my intent to donate the prizes and shipping costs as part of this fundraiser.

March 31, 2009 6:38 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

I was happy to donate to your very worthy cause. Silly about the Minnesota raffle rules, though.

April 03, 2009 12:40 PM  
Blogger Melinda said...

I donated!

April 03, 2009 1:38 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I'd love to be entered in the drawing

April 04, 2009 1:23 AM  
Blogger Ruby Louise said...

Crazy about the raffle thing. I'm posting a note about your giveaway on my blog as soon as I'm done commenting here. Best of luck with the fundraising!!!

April 04, 2009 8:04 AM  
Blogger The A.D.D. Knitter said...

As a native Minnesotan and mother of a tween viola player, I'm so happy to support your efforts:)

April 04, 2009 9:11 AM  
Blogger Amy @ Experience Imagination said...

What an awesome fundraising idea! I'd love to be entered in the drawing and I will be back after our next paycheck to make a small donation.

I'll post about this on my blog as well. I have a number of music loving readers, so I hope a few of them come over and donate.

April 04, 2009 10:57 AM  
Blogger Carrie Penny said...

I have nothing to do with Minn, but I did donate. I can't stand to see anything to do with the arts slowing down! I will also post a link on my blog! And here is my comment to boot!

April 05, 2009 5:57 AM  
Blogger Karen said...

Hi! How could I resist the chance to help out a another knitter-violist! I wish there was a group here like that for me to play in. I studied violin and then viola all through public school, then played only a little in college. I started taking lessons again about 3 years ago. I don't get to practice enough, but I enjoy playing anyway, and my teacher is very patient. I hope your fund raising idea is a success. I am puttering over to my long-neglected blog to post about Roseville Strings and your contest. I can't promise a lot of readers, but it is worth a try. Knit on!

April 05, 2009 8:28 PM  
Blogger Annette said...

What a great way to raise funds! Thanks for the opportunity to win such fabulous prizes. I'm off to donate and will post on my blog in the next couple of days (I'll email you when I do). Thanks again!

April 06, 2009 10:43 PM  
Blogger asterpurl said...

I hope it all works out for your orchestra!

April 07, 2009 5:54 PM  
Blogger ikkinlala said...

Best of luck with your fundraising - I wish I lived nearby so I could hear you play!

April 07, 2009 11:50 PM  
Blogger Kitten With a Whiplash said...

I sincerely hope your efforts are succesful. It's so important to keep the arts alive. I have posted to my blog at Normally I don't care about it, but this is one of the few times I wish I had a larger readership.

April 09, 2009 7:32 PM  
Blogger One Sheep said...

Good luck with your fundraising, I'm sorry not to be able to contribute.

April 10, 2009 6:02 PM  
Blogger Nicole C said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

June 21, 2010 4:14 PM  

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