Rotarian Rob Schaefer, spearheading the Veteran’s project for the Rotary Club of Sedona Village, proudly announced the tremendous success of the Veteran’s Raffle held during four US holidays in 2023 at Clark’s Market. The fundraising initiative yielded a remarkable $12,133, all dedicated to supporting veterans at Prescott’s Veterans Hospital.

Rob Schaefer expressed his gratitude towards the community and recognized the outstanding contribution of P.J.’Village Pub. A generous donation of $1,010 was made possible by server Bobby Jurgensen, who selflessly contributed his tips. This amount was then matched by PJ’s owner John Ehalt, showcasing the community's united effort of support.

The history of the Veterans Raffle traces back to First Lieutenant John Cornelius, a distinguished member of the US Army. Lt. Cornelius, who served in WWII in North Africa, Italy, and the Middle East, initiated this fundraising raffle approximately 19 years ago. Having earned 2 bronze stars in combat, Lt. Cornelius dedicated himself to the cause of supporting Veterans Hospital patients by providing daily incidentals not covered by the US Government.

Following Lt. Cornelius's passing in 2017, John’s friends continued the raffle tradition. In 2020, Cathleen, John's daughter, approached the Sedona Village Rotary Club with the opportunity to expand the raffle under the Rotary umbrella.  Club member Phong Vu, who served as a Major in the US Marine Corps, assumed leadership of the raffle in 2020. Upon Major Vu's death in 2022, Club member Col. Rob Schaefer, US Air Force, Ret, assumed responsibility for the raffle, along with the Club's other veterans activities.  The Club presented the Veterans Hospital $10,000 for the funds raised in 2022.          

Cathleen and her husband, John, continue to play an integral role in the success of the raffle, actively working to secure prizes and support the initiative. The Sedona Village Rotary Club expresses its gratitude to all contributors and pledges to continue its commitment to supporting veterans through impactful projects like the Veterans Raffle.

Photo, from left, Lora Clemson, Bobby Jurgensen Cathleen Banister-Marx, John Ehalt.