‘My son is dying,’ but father not allowed to hold online raffle
Did you know you can't buy a raffle ticket online in New Jersey? Jim Raffone found out the hard way as he's trying to raise money for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which his son Jamesy suffers from, by raffling off a 2020 Ford Mustang donated by the All American Auto Group.
Jim came on my show Monday, Dec. 21 to talk about it.
"Unfortunately when the (state Attorney General's Office) called my office to tell us to shut down the raffle we have going on, it's when I hired an attorney to help us fight this legislation because it's godawful, especially now in this current day where you can't gather. How is a charity like mine supposed to raise money?" Raffone asked.
Let's talk about that JAR Of Hope charity.
"Unfortunately, back in 2013, my son Jamesy was diagnosed with this terminal disease known as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. This disease has been around for 200 years and nobody knows anything about the disease. so we started the foundation to save my sons life and it's turned into this amazing organization with amazing supporters," Raffone said.
They're making a difference.
"We have a new drug that we're trying to pass with the FDA and it's going to cost us about $3 million to do this," Raffone said." Currently we have five boys going through a study for the last 14 months which costs us about $35,000 a month, then you put COVID in the mix and it really put a damper on things, to say the least."
After all this, "we have somebody like All American Ford who really sympathizes with our cause, they've been supporters of our for years. They donate a car to us which is really a great boost to be able to fund those things that we need to and then the rug gets pulled out from under us that we can't sell raffle tickets online," Raffone said.
So without being able to sell raffle tickets online, Raffone is trying to work around the system, but it gets worse.
"I had a conversation with the gaming commission, and to make matters even worse, they told me that you're not allowed to electronically take funds. In order to sell a ticket it's got to be a hand to hand transaction," Raffone said.
Not only that, but Raffone said, "we had people in Canada who wanted to buy raffle tickets for this car and across the country and they said, if you plan on continuing this, you can not have people mail in money. That's even against the law."
So what's a charity to do?
"We're trying to turn things around where we are offering a 'JAR of Hope' mug for $100 and if you buy a mug, you are entered into a free drawing to win the Mustang."
God forbid you should just be able to buy a ticket online in a state where you can gamble in a casino online or place a bet on a game.
But even with the mugs, there is risk.
"My attorney tells me this might annoy some people and potentially, I could end up in jail by doing this."
But for Jim Raffone, it's much bigger than that.
"My son is dying and this is what these politicians need to wrap their heads around, not just my son but any child with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the disease is 100% fatal. There is nothing that can save these children's lives right now and we're trying to push science forward and use this money to get the therapy to these boys."
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.