Fourth royalty ticket sales start Friday, with two contestants

When Alisha Armstrong and Kayla Young heard there were no royalty candidates this year, they both decided they had to step up for the community.

The chamber of commerce now has two candidates running for Fourth of July royalty this summer: Armstrong and Young.

Armstrong graduated high school earlier this month, and Young will be a senior next year.

Raffle ticket and food booth sales will kick off Friday, May 31, at 6 p.m. at the downtown pavilion.

The duo volunteered after concerns over zero royalty candidates - no one had signed up for the competition by the first deadline this month or the extended deadline May 17. Both candidates turned in their paperwork on May 23. This will be the first time in a few years that Wrangell will have more than one fundraising candidate.

The chamber of commerce sponsors the Fourth festivities and depends on royalty candidates to sell tens of thousands of raffle tickets. The candidates earn a percentage of their ticket sales for all the work they and their supporters put into fundraising, and the chamber uses its share of the proceeds to pay for fireworks and other parts of the holiday celebration.

Both candidates are scrambling to make plans, as they are about a month behind in planning, said Josh Young, Kayla's father and food manager.

The two candidates plan to meet to coordinate their events so that there are no scheduling conflicts.

Though it is a competition, both candidates are excited the other is running.

"Neither (candidate) wants to see the Fourth falter," said Josh Young. "They are looking to get together and conquer rather than succeed alone." A win would be to raise the most money ever raised, together, he added.

"The community is really the team that makes this happen," Mark Armstrong, Alisha's father said, adding that the candidates are really just the rallying points for the community.

The late start is going to be an added challenge for the candidates - typically weeks of planning would have already gone into the contest at this point.

Both Young and Armstrong have store accounts and bank accounts at First Bank set up in their names for donations. They are also currently working on donation lists, sponsorship letters, menus, events and gathering volunteers, which Josh Young said can make or break the event.

Kimberley Szczatko, chamber treasurer, said both candidates plan to sell raffle tickets and set up food booths downtown.

Young, whose family owns J&W, is planning to sell some dinners and late-night food out of the restaurant in addition to her downtown booth where she will sell lunches.

Raffle tickets will sell for $1 each, and per state gaming regulations no tickets will be given in exchange for donations or volunteer hours.

First prize for the raffle is $2,500, second is $1,500 and third prize is $1,000. The winning raffle tickets will be drawn on July 4.

The candidate with the highest gross revenue will win the royalty competition.

Any candidate who raises over $50,000 will receive a bonus totaling 30% of their net profits. In years past, bonuses have been based solely on ticket sales.

Both Young and Armstrong are planning to put their earnings toward college.


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