Raffle to help fund students at Umatilla High School sparks controversy


UMATILLA, Florida – Raffle sparks controversy in Lake County after a group of parents posted about fundraising on social media.

People have voiced their opinions after the raffle was shared on Facebook, with some saying it was a good idea while others worried the mix of guns and schools would send the wrong message.

“Shocked,” Ashle Sokalski said. “I mean, I didn’t even know about it.”

Sokalski is the parent of a student at Umatilla High School and was shocked to learn that a private Facebook group, UHS Project Graduation 2022, raffled a gun.

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The post says, in part, “We need more senior families to help sell raffle tickets” and “It’s a great fundraiser if we can sell all the tickets !!”

“I am totally against it. I mean, with all these school shootings and everything, why are you raffling a gun – like seriously, “Sokalski said.

News 6 has contacted schools in Lake County.

A spokeswoman said Umatilla High School had no role in the raffle, saying: “There is no requirement for parents to participate, and I understand students are not allowed to sell or buy the raffle tickets. “

Other residents said there were still unanswered questions.

“I think giving it to someone at random isn’t better because you just don’t know their past. You don’t know their intentions – you just don’t know them, ”said Julianna Siste,

Some people, who didn’t want to go in front of the camera, said this fundraiser was a good idea considering the area is rural with many hunters who can use a weapon like the one drawn.

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Others suggest an alternative for the future.

“I think it’s great to have a raffle or love to give kids money to graduate and stuff, but they could give like chocolate, (a) vacation, whatever,” Julianna Costa said.

News 6 left messages for the organizers of the Facebook group to inquire about this raffle. This story will be updated if they respond.

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