B.R.A.V.E. raffles off dream home

Melissa Berg

The Forever B.R.A.V.E. Foundation (Be Ready Against Violence Everywhere) is raffling off a $250,000 dream home to raise money for violence prevention programs in schools and communities throughout Iowa.

The foundation is selling 3,750 tickets for $125 each, according to Julie Turner, president of B.R.A.V.E. The drawing will be held at noon on Nov. 27 at the dream home site, 1940 Olson Drive, in the Hawthorne Ridge development in Waukee. There also will be 55 other cash prizes won at the drawing.

“This is a way we could raise money for all school programs for one and a half to two years,” Turner said.

She said more than 75 sponsors helped to put together the house, including Precious Homes, the general contractor and paint service provider. John Kline and Kevin Johnson were major contributors by donating the plot of land from their company, J & K Partners.

“After listening to their sales pitch I thought it was a good cause,” Kline said. “They were enthusiastic and sincere about their efforts with the kids.”

Kline said he was pleased they made the donation because it is a worthwhile project.

“It cost us a lot of money, but there is more than a profit to think about,” he said.

B.R.A.V.E. was founded by Turner and Deb Hamling in 1993. Turner said both she and Hamling had witnessed violent acts, which motivated them to start an organization to promote awareness.

Turner said she witnessed one of her friends shoot and kill his ex-girlfriend and then shoot himself at Southeast Polk Junior High School near Des Moines in 1984.

Hamling was a student at the University of Iowa in 1991 when she saw a student kill six people in a shooting rampage on campus.

Turner and Hamling began B.R.A.V.E. by teaching self-defense classes and speaking in small communities and women’s groups. In the past five years the organization has grown, and the two now travel to Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois and South Dakota with their programs.

Some of their current program topics include: workplace violence, schools, home security, traveling, communities and hands-on self defense. A school, community or company can pay a fee to have a program presented.

Turner said the Forever B.R.A.V.E. Foundation is the organization’s first experience with a large fund raiser.

“The goal is to be able to teach violence prevention in schools,” she said.

To buy a raffle ticket or get more information on B.R.A.V.E., call (515) 277-5546 or visit the Web page at www.brave.org.