A chance to tame the tuition monster

The main Children’s Museum of Richmond location on West Broad Street. (Photo by Mark Robinson)

The main Children’s Museum of Richmond location on West Broad Street. (Photo by Mark Robinson)

A local museum is using the lure of cheap college tuition to strengthen its bottom line.

The Children’s Museum of Richmond on Sunday will conclude a raffle in which a $45 ticket could pay for four years of college tuition.

The organization is selling tickets to the public, and a Tier 1 Virginia529 prepaid tuition contract is on the line. Depending on the age of the recipient, the value of the contract range from $54,600 to $58,600, according to the Children’s Museum of Richmond’s website.

“We’ve done raffles of different stuff in the past, but never with college tuition, so it has been exciting,” said Karen Coltrane, president and chief executive officer of the museum. “We anticipate a little bump this weekend.”

The month of online ticket sales end Saturday at 5 p.m. A winner will be drawn June 30 at the Children’s Museum on Broad Street. The prize may be used at any state school.

The museum has sold almost 2,100 tickets. Money from the fundraiser is going toward the museum’s $3 million annual operating budget, Coltrane said.

The museum has to raise between $600,000 and $700,000, or about 20 percent of its annual budget, each year, Coltrane said. The other 80 percent is funded through admissions, memberships, gift shop sales and special events, she said.

The Children’s Museum is also in the midst of funding its fourth location. Coltrane said the organization is raising $600,000 to open a branch in Fredericksburg in 2014.

It opened a location in West Broad Village in 2010 and one at Winterpock Crossing Shopping Center in Chesterfield in 2012.

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Pamela Faison

sounds like a good program!