The fifth annual Banking on Education has started in Loudon County as a way to help raise funds for the new school year.

Loudon County Education Foundation’s yearly event will go through Aug. 22.

A $20 ticket gets a person’s name in a drawing for a chance at four $500 prizes.

Institutions sponsoring prizes this year are First Horizon, Citizens Bank, SouthEast Bank and Knoxville TVA Employees Credit Union. Tickets can be purchased from any LCEF board member or from Michele Lewis, LCEF executive director, at 865-458-8749.

Lewis said banks policies do not allow the sale of tickets.

Plans are to hold a drawing Aug. 22 at Riverfest in Loudon, Lewis said. A participant does not have to be present to win.

This marks the fifth year since LCEF replaced former fundraiser Stuff the Bus.

“The purpose of the project is to raise funds for classroom supplies for teachers,” she said in an email correspondence. “This has been a great success. We generally got about $3,000 in donated goods that were then divided between school systems and teachers. Now we are able to donate $2,000 to each school system. The teachers are able to access the funds for items that they need.”

Banking on Education averages $4,000 annually.

“The support of organizations such as LCEF goes a long way during the school year to support academic needs for students and our teachers,” Susan Fox, Lenoir City Family Resource Center director, said in an email correspondence. “As we transition into the COVID-19 first return to school, the recommendations of every student to have their own supplies means a high demand for support from our community. It is without a doubt this project will help our center meet this challenge.”

LCEF has contributed more than $700,000 since 2012, Lewis said.

“The contributions we are able to make to support education make a big difference in teacher’s ability to get teaching supplies, (science, technology, mathematics and engineering) kits, books, supplementary projects and equip to help students learn,” she said.

Contributions from LCEF make a difference, Michael Garren, Loudon County director of schools, said.

“I believe Loudon County Education Foundation’s Banking on Education makes a great impact on our school system by providing thousands of dollars toward classroom supplies, as well as other valuable initiatives of the foundation,” Garren said in an email correspondence. “I appreciate their support and the sponsoring banks’ support of education.”

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