Fall is looking a little different for everyone this year, including for the Rotary Clubs of Powell River’s largest joint venture, the Great Grocery Raffle Plus. This raffle features five lucky winners every December receiving $2,000 each in gift cards from five participating sponsors: Canadian Tire, Save-On-Foods, FreshCo, Pacific Point Market and Quality Foods.
Community residents are probably used to buying their tickets in person, on paper from one of the friendly Rotarians outside one of their favourite stores, but not this year. With the threat of COVID-19, Rotary has moved to an online process where people can purchase a $10 ticket through its dedicated website, greatgroceryraffle.ca, to enter to win.
Although this isn’t the same personal touch Rotarians are accustomed to, the raffle is still for good cause and prizes remain as great as ever with favourable odds of winning; only 3,500 tickets are available.
“The power of Rotarians is great, and working together has a large impact on what we can do for our community and around the world,” says Rotary Club president Sara Mitchell-Banks. “The money raised by our clubs is used to support local charities and community projects.”
Powell River has a diverse Rotary presence with the addition of Rotaract and EarlyAct clubs to the already established evening, sunrise and Interact clubs. Powell River Rotary is growing not only in size but in ages.
In addition to the successful grocery raffle, Rotary clubs work together on several other community projects, most recently supporting their younger members in an initiative to bring some joy to young people in Tla’amin Nation during its shelter-in-place order.
“I’ve witnessed the kindness of Rotarians and our community over the years and remember fondly the year someone I knew, who really needed to win the Great Grocery Raffle to feed their children, won from a ticket that had been gifted to them,” says Rotary Club Sunrise president Martyn Woolley. “It is so satisfying to know that this raffle fundraises for great initiatives in our community, but that the winning also takes place here.”
As with many groups, Rotary has always portrayed a fun, competitive spunk when it comes to fundraising, and the grocery raffle has always been the largest. Nothing is at stake for Rotarians other than knowing they raised the most.
This year Rotarians have each been assigned their own website URL for ticket sales. Anyone wishing to continue purchasing from their favourite member can reach out to them if they haven’t heard from them already.
“Due to COVID-19 and moving into the 21st century, we have launched our raffle online; each Rotarian has an individual link to sell their tickets from,” says evening club fundraising chair Monica Peckford. “I'm hoping for some healthy competition for the highest sales to continue to happen. Normally, Ed Frausel always wins in sales, but who knows this year.”
Purchase deadline is midnight on Friday, December 11. The draw takes place at 11 am on Saturday, December 12.
For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to greatgroceryraffle.ca.