Keith Thode picks up Tesla at Rogers Center.

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Friends of Rogers Electric Car Raffle Winner picks up Tesla.

The winner of the Friends of Rogers 2021 Electric Car Raffle is Keith Thode of Grapevine, TX. Keith won a 2020 Tesla Model 3 and arrived in New York to pick up the car on December 2, 2021.

The drawing was held on October 21, 2021, at noon at Rogers Center. Heather Tehan, Director of Development at Friends of Rogers, reached into the compost bin and drew the winning ticket, #1751. The drawing was attended by Friends of Rogers Staff, Board Members, and several ticket holders. Heather called Keith to inform him that he had won the car and he was thrilled. He told her of his ties to Sherburne and memories of Rogers Center.

Keith is a 1989 graduate of Sherburne-Earlville High School. While he only lived in Central New York for a few years, he considers Sherburne his hometown. Keith is a member of the Sherburne-Earlville High School “Wall of Fame” for US business and community accomplishments. He still tries to stay involved in Sherburne in several ways. Keith and his family are sponsors of the Save the Sherburne Inn Restoration Project. He and his friends, Tommy Slawsky, Beth King and Tammy Van Wagner are the founders of the Sherburne Earlville Alumni Scholarship Fund and Trade Award. The program gives academic scholarships to S-E graduates going on to college as well as “Trade Awards” in the form of financial gifts to those going straight from high school into skilled trades. Keith and his family now live in Grapevine, Texas, where he has owned electric vehicles since 2014. He still gets The Sherburne News delivered every week, which is where he learned about the Friends of Rogers raffle – and ended up with a new Tesla!

Keith also brought a surprise with him for Friends of Rogers, he presented Heather with a donation from the Thode Family Fund in the amount of $5,000. Friends of Rogers Staff is so thankful to receive this generous donation to further the environmental education opportunities at Rogers Center. Heather Tehan said “ It was a great surprise! Simon and I were so happy to hand Keith his prize and he was happy to receive it and then he pulled out the big check and presented us with his generous donation. It was a wonderful day all around!”

The 2021 Electric Car Raffle was the second car raffle for Friends of Rogers and the staff all agree it was a successful fundraising endeavor. Simon Solomon, Executive Director said “This raffle brought in a steady flow of income through the year, when many other fundraisers could not be done with the COVID 19 restrictions in place. It was a great educational tool as well, to explain electric vehicles to so many people that are not yet familiar with the technology, energy savings and ease of driving electric.”

Friends of Rogers would like to thank all the participants in the 2021 Electric Car Raffle. All proceeds of the Electric Car Raffle benefits Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center, a nonprofit organization.