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Want to see the pope? Here’s your chance


You can enter raffles for everything from fruit baskets to concert tickets. Now, you can even sign up for a chance to potentially see Pope Francis.

On Friday, Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) announced in a press release that he will raffle off “pairs of two tickets” for the Pope’s joint address to Congress on the West Lawn of the White House at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept 24. The tickets provide “access” to the event, which will be simulcast, but “a view of the Pope is not guaranteed,” according to the release.

The raffle is open to all First Congressional District residents, an area that encompasses the North and South Forks, Shelter Island and Brookhaven Town. To sign up, go to http://zeldin.house.gov/pope. The lottery will close at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14. According to Mr. Zeldin’s office, winners will be chosen at random and notified by phone the following day. Tickets aren’t available for resale and winners are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.

This month’s event marks the first time His Holiness, who was elected Pope in 2013, will visit the White House.

In a statement, the White House press secretary said President Barack Obama and Pope Francis will discuss a variety of issues at their meeting later this month, including “caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities.”

For more information about the raffle, call Mr. Zeldin’s office at 631-289-1097.

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