$50 for a Cadillac? Credit Rochester Hills Businessman With Charitable Car Raffle Project

John Kersten has helped Easter Seals Michigan raise more than $12 million from popular car raffles.

For nearly 20 years, Easter Seals Michigan has raised more than $12 million through car raffles. Funds from these events have made a difference throughout the state: they help people with disabilities lead more independent lives. 

Another car raffle is planned this week in Troy: Easter Seals will raffle a 2013 Cadillac CTS.

But why the raffles? The idea came from Century 21 Town & Country President John Kersten of Rochester Hills. The company has been a major partner in this fundraising effort, and is one of the largest corporate supporters for any chapter of Easter Seals nationally. Kersten came up with the idea last year.

“This is the Motor City, and the state that really loves automobiles more than anywhere else in the country,” Kersten said. “It’s been a great way to get some publicity for Easter Seals Michigan while raising money to help pay for so many of these critical programs.”

Helping Easter Seals Michigan is a family affair as John's wife, Elizabeth, is an Easter Seals Michigan board member and volunteer.  

“Many supporters of Easter Seals Michigan first became aware of the organization because of these raffles, which we’re really proud of,” John Kersten said. “Over the last couple of years, a number of our winners are people who have supported the raffles for many years.” 

Easter Seals is holding its first car raffle of 2013 this week; 5,000 tickets will be sold and the drawing will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at Suburban Cadillac Buick of Troy. The top prize is a 2013 Cadillac CTS. “Of all the money that Easter Seals Michigan raises, 96 percent goes to the clients,” said Kerseten. “That is absolutely terrific. The dollars are not wasted. They help people with so many different needs."

How to play

Tickets for the 2013 Cadillac CTS and $50,000 raffle are $50. Those interested in purchasing can order by phone at 800-999-5655, by fax at 248-475-6404, via email to raffletickets@essmichigan.org, or on site at Suburban Cadillac Buick of Troy on Feb. 23 before the drawing.

An order form can also be downloaded at www.essmichigan.org and returned by mail to: Easter Seals Raffle, c/o Easter Seals Michigan, 2387 E. Walton Blvd., Auburn Hills, MI 48326. The winner need not be present to win, and confirmation of ticket numbers will be sent to those who buy upon receipt of application and payment. 

Other car raffle or all cash fundraisers held by Easter Seals this year include:

  • April 27: Corvette & $50K Cash                                     
  • June 29: Cadillac & $50K Cash                                        
  • August 24: $100,000 All Cash Giveaway                         
  • September 21: Corvette & $50K Cash                                     
  • November 23: Cadillac & $50K Cash

To be notified about future raffles, email raffletickets@essmichigan.org.                                 


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