$100 Provides Shot at $835,000 Home in Calvert, Benefits Any Soldier

Any Soldier, Inc., a local non-profit which helps connect citizens with soldiers abroad in need of care packages, is raffling this 5,000 square foot, five bedroom, 2.5 bath home with a waterfront view in Calvert County for $100 a chance. It is a farm property with 5 stalls, barn and 6 paddocks.
Any Soldier, Inc., a local non-profit which helps connect citizens with soldiers abroad in need of care packages, is raffling this 5,000 square foot, five bedroom, 2.5 bath home with a waterfront view in Calvert County for $100 a chance. It is a farm property with 5 stalls, barn and 6 paddocks.

CALLAWAY, Md. (Sept. 4, 2008)—$100 will buy you a shot at a 5,000 square foot home situated on almost 8 acres in Calvert County with a waterfront view. The net proceeds of the raffle will benefit the non-profit Any Soldier, Inc., based in Waldorf. The raffle drawing will be held at 12 noon on November 11, 2008 to coincide with Veterans Day.

More details and photographs of the property and complete rules for the raffle can be found online at anysoldierhouseraffle.com/PrinceFrederick/ . Tickets can be purchased via the website for $100 each and paid for using a major credit card. Checks can also be mailed to Any Soldier.

Any Soldier has established a network of military personnel they term “contacts,” who are deployed in combat situations such as Iraq and Afghanistan, who are willing to receive care packages from citizens and distribute them into “the hands of soldiers who don't get much or any mail.” They claim to currently have over 3,500 contacts who are able to reach out to approximately 100,000 service members in all branches of the military.

Programs include not only supporting deployed troops, but also wounded soldiers who have arrived home. Any Soldier also aids in the facilitation and delivery of medical, school, and other humanitarian supplies to soldiers who donate their time and expertise to the people of the nations in which they are assigned.

People can visit anysoldier.com and click on the link "Where to Send" to obtain a list of contacts. The website provides information about the contact such as where they are currently located, where the unit is from, and the approximate number of troops—distinguished by male and female—the contact is able to serve with incoming packages.

Any Soldier also provides information for care-senders on what to send and how best to send it. Since the package is leaving the U.S. and going into a war zone, its not as easy as mailing a birthday card to your mom. Special attention must be given to packaging, addressing, and related issues such completing U.S. Customs forms.

The packages are shipped to the contact with the line, "ATTN: Any Soldier." The attention line is the signal to the contact that the package is to be distributed to another soldier in need. Any Soldier points out that it is necessary to have an actual contact and address to which to send packages. Department of Defense regulations prohibit accepting mail that is simply addressed to "Any Soldier."

Proceeds from the raffle of the home in Calvert County will help Any Soldier continue its mission of serving the soldiers deployed overseas.

The home is currently owned by Steven and Natalie Skyrm. The Skyrms are long-time supporters of Any Soldier, according to Christina Boblits, Chief Financial Officer and business manager for Any Soldier. Boblits says her organization approached the couple with the raffle proposal after learning they were planning to sell their home.

The property is valued at $835,000 based on an appraisal that was required by the State under the laws governing the raffle of real property. The amount the raffle generates over the appraised value, less legal and other allowed costs, will go to Any Soldier. $835,000 will go to the homeowners. However, the State requires that another fair market appraisal be conducted before the home is actually awarded.

According to Boblits, they must sell 9,000 raffle tickets to break even. If that number of tickets has not been sold by October 31, the State will allow an extension through Dec. 31 to see if the required number of tickets can be sold. In the event of the latter, the drawing will be held January 15, 2009.

As of Thursday, the group has sold 110 tickets.

In the event 9,000 tickets can not be sold by the end of 2008, Any Soldier will be required to return the ticket purchase price paid by each of the ticket holders, minus a 1% processing fee, within sixty days of the raffle cancellation date.

The winner of the raffle will have to come up with a considerable amount of money before they can accept the title of the property. The winner will first have to pay closing and settlement costs, which Any Soldier estimated at $15,800. Federal income tax withholding on the fair market value of the property must also be collected from winners upon award and distribution. Winners will have up to 60 days to raise the money as the raffle rules require that the winner go to settlement on the property within 60 days of the drawing date.

The fair market value of the property, as determined by the final appraisal, will be treated as ordinary income for the respective tax year for federal and state income tax purposes, according to a certified public accountant with whom we checked. For example, someone in an overall 25% tax bracket would end up paying approximately $208,750 in income taxes based on a market value of $835,000.

People who want to support Any Soldier can also contribute directly to the organization by visiting their website at anysoldier.com—in which case 100% of the contribution will go directly to them.

Any Soldier also runs the following websites: www.AnyMarine.com, www.AnySailor.com, www.AnyAirman.com, and www.AnyCoastGuard.com .

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