May 22, 2006

The Department of Texas Veterans of Foreign Wars and Galaxy Advertising & Promotions announced today their agreement to jointly develop cyber centers in Texas with broadband internet connections, to provide computer training, and computer services to the public. The cyber centers will provide free e-mail and instant messaging to family members of military servicemen. This will allow many families without broadband internet service to increase their ability to communicate with their loved ones.

The cyber centers will sell communication and computer related products and services similar to services provided at other computer service locations. These may include prepaid internet connections, computer rental, WiFi hot spot, prepaid phone cards, computer work centers, limited copy and photo imaging services.

The Texas VFW will also conduct an internet sweepstakes fundraising campaign using the cyber center to bring the campaign to the public’s attention. Rather than use the mail solicitation program of a national advertising company used by most veteran’s organizations and other nonprofits for fundraising, the Texas VFW will be using Galaxy’s Rsweeps©, copyrighted sweepstakes software.

Many people do not understand why charities are using sweepstakes promotions in the first place. The answer can be found in the increasingly intense competition for donations among an ever-growing number of charities. Faced with such competition, many charities are using a variety of fund raising practices (including sweepstakes) to catch a potential donor's attention. Some charities find sweepstakes to be quite advantageous, because they can provide a potential donor with an extra incentive to respond and perhaps increase the number of contributors.

Sweepstakes are popular because they use a powerful psychology—the allure of winning something for nothing. The two key ingredients of a sweepstakes are the element of chance (such as in a drawing or game) and a prize. (A lottery, on the other hand, has the additional requirement of consideration, or purchase.) You are not required to pay money or purchase anything to enter a sweepstakes which eliminates the consideration requirement. Sweepstakes entries, codes, or game pieces often accompany a product you purchase or a donation you make to a charity, but there is always an alternate method to enter the sweepstakes without making a purchase or donation. If you choose not to purchase the company's product or make a charitable donation, your chances of winning are the same as those who made a purchase or donation.

All sweepstakes are also required to list the exact number of prizes to be awarded and the odds of winning each prize. This requirement results in a finite number of prizes to be awarded. The requirement of listing the odds of winning each prize results in a finite number of game pieces in the sweepstakes. This is different from a drawing which will list only the prizes and the odds will be dependent on the number of entries.

The public’s donations will help a veteran or service member’s “dream come true.” VFW is leading the charge to:

     •Support our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom are on their second or third tour of duty.
     •Provide financial aid and comfort to families with young children who have recently lost a loved one serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
     •Assist America’s wounded, disabled and sick veterans in military and veteran’s hospitals.

VFW relies solely on the voluntary donations they receive from our members and friends. They receive no taxpayer support whatsoever. They don’t want to turn away a single veteran, or service member, or struggling military family. Every contribution in the sweepstakes fundraising campaign helps them say, “Yes,” to every hero who turns to them for assistance.