The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic wants audience members to enjoy its sound. But the professional orchestra also would like to give people locally and nationwide the chance also to enjoy the purring engine of a 2017 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray Coupe.

The organization has launched a fundraiser running until Nov. 28 giving people a chance to win the vehicle, valued at more than $55,000, said Mark Pillar, the orchestra’s development director. A total of 999 chances will be available at $150 per ticket. The Philharmonic must sell 660 tickets by the deadline in order for the giveaway to happen, said Margaret Powers, the orchestra’s executive director.

The winner will be drawn Dec. 10 at the Chevrolet of Columbus dealership, which is covering a portion of the cost of the car, dealership representative Fred Armstrong said.

Proceeds will support youth music education programs, which have been a priority with the orchestra for years. About 20 percent of the Philharmonic’s estimated annual budget of more than $700,000 goes to music education, from strings programs in the schools to summer music camps, according to the ensemble’s figures.

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Philharmonic leaders have seen other ensembles stage similar successful fundraisers. The Asheville Symphony in North Carolina sold more than 700 chances its first year of such a giveaway.

“We’re just trying to build awareness right now,” said Katelyn Phillips, the orchestra’s marketing director.

One step came last week when organizers displayed a similar 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray outside The Commons before the latest Cabaret at The Commons concert.

“This is an opportunity for us to expand our reach and support,” Pillar said. “We realize that it can be difficult to simply go back to the local well for support over and over again. And we understand, for example, that people out in California can’t support us by coming to Lobsterfest (another fundraiser in May). But they may be interested in buying a ticket to win a Corvette.”

He added that the organization is hopeful that the effort, now being marketed to Corvette clubs nationwide, will become an annual event — as has happened in Asheville.

“We want to take baby steps first,” Pillar said.

Phillips said the sample car used to draw attention to the fundraiser will be taken to Philharmonic concerts and area car shows.

The orchestra will pay about $18,000 in state and federal taxes on the vehicle, Pillar said.

How to buy a raffle ticket

To purchase a ticket to win a Corvette, entrants must submit an entry form to the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic along with payment. Entrants can submit an entry form in three ways:

  • Mail to or drop off at the Philharmonic’s office at 315 Franklin St., Columbus, IN 47201.
  • Fax to 812-669-2336
  • Call 812-376-2638 ext. 1 with required entrant information. Due to Indiana Charitable Gaming Commission Regulations, raffle tickets cannot be purchased online or with a credit card.
  • Drop off at the Chevrolet of Columbus dealership, 3560 N. National Road, Columbus.

Acceptable forms of payment include cash, check payable to Columbus Indiana Philharmonic or debit card.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.