Rotary raffle tickets available

Published 10:33 pm Friday, September 5, 2014

Loretta Martin got a gift from her boss at Sentara Obici Hospital last year that could have been worthless.

Instead, it turned out to be worth a February vacation to Jamaica.

Dr. Steve Julian, president of the hospital, bought tickets from the Suffolk Rotary Club’s annual charity raffle and handed them out at random to his managers.

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The winning ticket in the raffle entitled the holder to her choice of vacation — either a family vacation to Walt Disney World or a couple’s retreat to the Sandals resort in Jamaica.

With no children — none of the human variety, anyway — Martin and her husband, Robert, chose Jamaica.

Loretta’s mother watched the couple’s four-legged child, a French bulldog, while the couple took off on an all-expenses-paid trip, including airfare, to Jamaica.

They liked it so much they added extra days onto their trip, Martin said.

“The best part was, you were having snow and we were not,” she said.

“The resort was beautiful,” Martin added. “I spent most of my time out by the beach.”

Her husband enjoyed some fishing opportunities, and they both climbed up a waterfall and went on a zipline. She also got a massage and a facial, and the couple relished the beach view from their hotel room.

And it was all free thanks to the $1,000 spending money that comes with the package.

“For all of the things we wanted to do, we were able to use the money that was provided,” Martin said. “We had a grand time. It was wonderful.”

Little wonder that she was the first person to buy tickets for this year’s raffle. Although she doesn’t believe lightning will strike twice, she’s still hoping.

“I was happy to give back to them,” Martin said. “I would certainly go back to the resort again.”

Tickets are on sale now for this year’s raffle, the drawing for which will be held at Peanut Fest on Oct. 12. There’s no need to be present at the drawing to win.

The prize is a AAA Travel Tidewater gift certificate valued at more than $4,000, which can be used for the winner’s choice of a Walt Disney World vacation or the Jamaica vacation.

The Disney package includes two meals and two snacks daily, moderate accommodations and park hopper passes for two adults and two children under age 16, as well as a $1,000 Visa gift card. Transportation is not included.

The Sandals vacation does include airfare from Norfolk, as well as dining and drinks, lodging at the Montego Bay resort, entertainment and a $1,000 Visa gift card.

Proceeds from the raffle benefit the Rotary Club’s $10,000 in scholarships that it awards annually to a boy and a girl from each of Suffolk’s five public and private high schools.

Tickets are $10. To purchase tickets, see any Suffolk Rotary Club member or visit D.B. Bowles Jewelers, Xenith Bank, Suffolk Quality Cleaners, Richardson and Nash, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, the Suffolk News-Herald or another Rotary member-managed business.