New wheels for Marlton mom

By AUBRIE GEORGE

One Marlton mom is driving around in a brand new GMC Terrain thanks to a raffle held by the Marlton Recreation Council’s youth football program. Members say there couldn’t have been a more deserving winner.

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This is the first year the program held a raffle in conjunction with Burns Buick GMC of Marlton.

David Garagozzo, director of finance for the MRC’s youth football program, said the raffle is part of GMC’s youth football initiative that is sponsored by the National Football League.

As part of the fund-raising initiative, local sports programs are given 2,000 raffle tickets to sell at their own price between $1 and $5. The team then gets to keep the proceeds from the ticket sales.

Members of the MRC’s football program gave the tickets out to players’ parents who were asked to sell them at $5 a piece. Garagozza said about half of the parents participated in selling the tickets.

Once they were collected, all of the tickets were sent to GMC headquarters where they were thrown in with other contestants from youth football programs around the country for a drawing. The prize up for grabs was a 2011 GMC Terrain.

The winner of the raffle, out of thousands of contestants around the nation, was long-time Marlton resident Jennifer Patterson — a Cherokee High School graduate and one-time Marlton Rec cheerleader.

Gargozzo said the win was appropriate due to the fact that Patterson had approached the coaches and commissioners this season in hopes of becoming more involved in operating the youth football program.

“My son plays football and we just thought it was a great organization to get involved with and help out,” Patterson said.

Because of this increased dedication, Garagozzo said there couldn’t have been a more appropriate winner.

“This is someone who wanted to get involved in the program and saw potential in the program. She really is very much deserving of this,” he said.

All told, the organization brought in just under $5,000 through the fund raiser, which will pay for various aspects of running the MRC’s youth football program.

“We’re in the process of doing a lot of field improvements to our practice fields,” Garagozzo said. “This is going to pay for things like new helmets, new uniforms, and improvements to our facilities.”

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