Raffle winner Wayne Demers picks up his stuffed prize basket from Bileauâ€™s Flowers co-owner Jeanne Bis on Christmas Eve. The proceeds benefit Because He Lives Ministries, the operators of a soup kitchen for the needy at All Saints Parish.
WOONSOCKET â€“ Bileauâ€™s Flowers raised $1,908 for Because He Lives Ministries by raffling off a holiday gift basket this year.
Jeanne Bis, co-owner of the Diamond Hill Road flower shop, said the winning ticket-holder was Wayne Demers, who picked up his prize on Christmas Eve.
This marked the third consecutive season that Bis and Bileauâ€™s co-owner Ralph Bileau raffled off a basket for the benefit of Because He Lives, raising more than $5,000 to date.
â€śItâ€™s been a tough year,â€ť said Bis. â€śI didnâ€™t know if I was going to make it but we had help selling tickets from Paulâ€™s Family Restaurant and the Burrito Company.â€ť
With their help, Bis said she ended up beating last yearâ€™s mark of $1,543. She credited WNRI talk show host Jonn Dionne for drumming up publicity about the raffle.
This yearâ€™s prize was a 54-gallon Rubbermaid storage bin filled with over $700 worth of toys, household appliances and clothing for children and adults. Bis says she collects the merchandise a little at a time and has already begun assembling the contents of next yearâ€™s basket.
The proceeds of the raffle go to a good cause, she says. Because He Lives serves meals to the needy four days a week at All Saints Parish on Rathbun Street.
â€śWe know that right now we have a lot of people are looking for meals and things out there than canâ€™t do for themselves and the soup kitchen says theyâ€™ve never fed so many people,â€ť said Bis.