Imagine donating $100 and receiving a brand-new home in return.
That could happen to one lucky — and generous — Bakersfield resident next summer, if their raffle ticket is chosen to win the new St. Jude Dream Home being built in southwest Bakersfield.
And it's for a great cause.
In its 17th year, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is trying to raise $1.125 million in its sale of raffle tickets for the chance to win the modern, contemporary home, located in a new suburb next to a middle school.
The Dream Home Giveaway is one of St. Jude's largest single-event fundraisers, and all of the proceeds help ensure families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, food or housing, according to Amanda Soto, development specialist for St. Jude.
John Balfanz Homes, St. Jude staff, volunteers and donors came together Friday morning to break ground on the new property.
The home will be built at 2817 Tara Leigh Drive, and anyone who buys a $100 raffle ticket benefiting St. Jude will have the opportunity to win the home.
Raffle tickets go on sale Jan. 24.
The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home will have a contemporary style, said Jacob Balfanz, project manager for the home. Balfanz Homes' employees will begin working on the house within the next few weeks, and the home is set to be ready for move-in this summer.
"It's going to be really cool inside. I can't wait for everyone to see it," Jacob Balfanz said.
And Balfanz Homes is driven to work with St. Jude because of its mission, he said.
"Getting behind the mission and goals St. Jude has is really amazing," Jacob Balfanz said."The kids are really the future of this world. For us to go through and help support that goal of curing childhood cancer is something we're really proud of."
Dorothy Morey's sorority, Epsilon Sigma Alpha, has been volunteering with St. Jude since 1962 — and she has been volunteering for St. Jude's dream home giveaway fundraiser since it came to Bakersfield 17 years ago. She helps sell raffle tickets and hosts the open houses at the new homes, she said.
And she's like so many other St. Jude volunteers and staff members, she does it for the kids.
"I've been to the hospital. I've seen it. I've been there several times," Morey said, noting that it's impactful "just to see the kids and to see what it means to them."
And she expressed her gratitude toward Bakersfield residents who support the mission of St. Jude.
"I think Bakersfield is awesome on all kinds of community projects," Morey said. "They never let us down."