For the second consecutive year, the Skipper Crew of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is holding a raffle to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. The raffle winner will have the opportunity to fire the Corps of Cadets’ cannon, Skipper, during pre-game at the Virginia Tech versus Maryland football game on Nov. 16.

The Skipper Crew will be selling raffle tickets for $1 at the center of the Drillfield from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 11, 12, and 13. The winner will be drawn by the gun captain after the raffle ends Nov. 13 and notified that evening.

The winner of the raffle will spend a day as a member of the cannon crew for the football game with all the perks of a junior-level cadet: escorting the cannon across campus, observing pre-game from the field, and firing the cannon. The winner can choose to stay with the crew on the practice field during the game, or may re-enter the stadium after pre-game if they have purchased their own ticket. 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Skipper. The corps cannon was created by three cadets from the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Class of 1964, Alton “Butch” Harper, Homer “Sonny” Hickam, and George Fox, who came together with one goal in mind; to have the biggest game cannon the world has ever seen.

For the next 50 years, Skipper and those cadets that maintain it’s legacy, the Skipper Crew, became embedded within the tradition of Virginia Tech, becoming one of the most recognizable icons of the Corps of Cadets and the university.

Operated by an elite crew of no more than 15 cadets, the cannon is a symbol of family, tradition, and Hokie pride. At the beginning of every game and at every Hokie score, the rumble of the nearly 1,000-pound cannon can be heard throughout the Blacksburg community and for one special Hokie that rumble will be less than 10 feet away during the Virginia Tech versus Maryland football game.

To this day Skipper continues the tradition outset by its founders, serving as a guide for the corps, alumni, fans, and all of Hokie nation. Skipper Crew is sharing this once-in-a-lifetime experience with one lucky winner, but all can support the Wounded Warrior Project by purchasing raffle tickets.

In echo of the university motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve) and the Corps of Cadets commitment to the U.S. military and focus on serving others, the crew will donate 75 percent of all proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project. The remaining money raised will go toward crew expenses.