EVERETT — He gambled $10 for a chance to own the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS.
The car was maroon and silver, close to the colors of his college’s rival. The 18-year-old was studying at the University of Washington.
Mary Schoenfeldt called him last year with the news. He’d won.
“He answered his phone, and was like, ‘Are you kidding me? Which one of my friends put you up to this?’” she said.
Schoenfeldt is president of the Rotary Club of Everett-Port Gardner. Each year the group raffles off a classic car to raise money for local organizations.
This year’s prize is a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z28 in Hugger Orange.
The group starts selling tickets at the Everett Home and Garden Show in March. The drawing goes until October. The tradition is in its 20th year.
Schoenfeldt believes the contest has raised nearly $1 million altogether. Usually it brings in about $40,000 after the car’s purchase price. Last year the money went to 20 local and international agencies, she said.
The group recently helped build an ADA-accessible trail through Legion Memorial Park. They plan to do the same in Harborview Park but need more volunteers, Schoenfeldt said. The club has 28 members.
Member Jeff Hager is in charge of the raffle committee. He joined the Port Gardner Rotary club about 15 years ago because his father-in-law is a member.
The first car in the contest was a Chrysler PT Cruiser in its debut year. The car was in high demand back then and brought in a lot of money, Hager said.
A hatchback version of the Cruiser didn’t do as well when it was used the next year. That’s when the group switched to classic cars.
Each year they spend $40,000 on the raffle, but the cars are usually worth more. When the owners learn about Rotary’s mission, they often lower the price, Hager said.
Next year’s prize has already been chosen — a 1968 Pontiac Firebird 400. The owner had bought a raffle ticket last year. This year she decided to give her family’s convertible to the club.
“Her dad purchased it new off the lot,” Hager said. “She donated all the paperwork with it and receipts for this and that.”
Some of its emblems need to be replaced, he said. It just needs to be polished.
The Rotary Club of Everett-Port Gardner is selling tickets for $5 until October at area events. People can buy as many tickets as they want.
The contest starts March 8 at the Everett Home and Garden Show at Angel of the Winds Arena. Future locations and instructions to buy tickets through the mail are posted on the club’s website, rotaryepg.com.
The Port Gardner Rotary meetings are at 7:15 a.m. each Wednesday at the Buzz Inn on Broadway, and guests are welcome.