It’s the third year of our car raffle at AIDS Services of Austin, and the lucky winner was drawn at AIDS Walk Austin: Julie Holland. However, Julie wasn’t at the Walk that day. As it happened, October 19 was her birthday! In fact, when she finally got the call informing her of the prize, she had completely forgotten that she had entered.
“None of my friends believe me,” she joked when she stopped by ASA to sign the official papers. “I got a message from somebody named Paul who was calling from the AIDS Walk with exciting news. Then I immediately got another message from [my friend and ASA staff member] Joey McAdams that I had won a car. My initial response? Someone was pranking me on my birthday.”
Julie entered the contest back in May. “I bought the raffle ticket at Back to the Boathouse, an event benefiting AIDS Services of Austin. The Boathouse was a great bar in the 80’s and 90’s. I actually performed stand-up comedy there. I forgot to purchase my tickets in advance and had to stand in line for over an hour to gain entry. It was SO hot! But I was undeterred, many friends were inside. Well, people were selling raffle tickets, and ASA is an organization near to my heart. So, I bought a ticket. And they let me sit in the Leaf parked outside of the event. Then I got in, had cocktails, danced and promptly forgot about the ticket.”
After the initial shock wore off and Julie was able to verify that she had actually won a car, she started getting excited. “The win is still sinking in,” she admitted. After checking out the selection at Town North Nissan, and meeting with Dana and Greg, who worked with ASA to set up the car raffle, Julie chose a black Leaf to drive off in.
“It’s an amazing car, and I love it!” she told ASA a few days later. “My favorite thing about it is the bluetooth feature. It might sound shallow, but who doesn’t love driving down the road, screaming into a console?”
For both ASA and Julie, the car raffle encompasses much more than just selling tickets and giving away a Leaf.
“This is our third year with the car raffle,” Paul Scott, ASA Executive Director explains. “We’ve found that year after year, this unique opportunity helps us not only raise money but engage and educate the community. Especially this year, our zero emissions for zero HIV transmissions campaign has helped us connect with new and existing donors on issues that many Austinites care about, including protecting the environment, supporting people affected by HIV, and fighting stigma.”
Now Julie, in addition to having a great new all-electric car, has an amazing story to tell her friends. “I feel grateful and so blessed. I especially love that it came from ASA, an organization that is vital to so many people.”