Guns among prizes for Pennsylvania high school football team’s booster club raffle

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Booster club raffles are used to raise funds, but raffle tickets sold by a Pennsylvania high school’s football team are raising hackles among some area residents.

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Raffle tickets sold by members of the Cedar Cliff High School football team featured 10 prizes -- five of which were guns, the Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported.

The weapons offered as prizes by the Cedar Cliff Colts Football booster club include a Gen 5 9 mm Glock 19, a 9 mm Springfield Hellcat, a 9 mm Smith and Wesson 2.0 Pro Series, a 12-gauge semi-automatic Radical MKX-3, and a .30-06 Savage Axis 2 Overwatch.

“In such poor taste,” Daina Thompson, a mental health professional who has two children -- ages 11 and 14 -- attending school in the district, told the Patriot-News. “I cannot support something that is potentially putting guns in more homes of the teenagers I see, knowing the stats.

“They clearly didn’t consult a mental health professional in this.”

The booster club said that if a raffle winner does not want a gun, they can receive a $200 prize instead, the Patriot-News reported.

Tickets were distributed to football players Sept. 9, and raffle winners will be announced Oct. 29 but not on school property, the newspaper reported.

The booster club is not obligated to receive district approval for its fundraisers, according to Rhonda Fourhman, spokesperson for the West Shore School District.

Thompson said she received an email from the booster club.

“Agreed, it is unbearable to think that any item can be used as a weapon to inflict harm to one’s self or others, regardless of the source, the email said, according to the Patriot-News. “(But) to link the intent of the raffle and a proposed outcome is unfair and disingenuous.

“As a fellow parent, I am also appalled by any tragedy that affects our children, regardless the location or district. That does not negate the onus of the lawful adult to which the prize is legally collected.”

Thompson said she does not believe a fundraiser that has guns as prizes are appropriate for a high school sports program.

“I’m not trying to start a war over the Second Amendment,” Thompson told the Patriot-News, adding she has hunters and military members in her family. “I’m not opposed (to) people getting weapons through their own means, but how can this be appropriate in a school environment?”

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