Sidney Rotary club hopes new raffle is a gold mine

Sidney-by-the-Sea club to kick off weekly raffle Feb. 1.

Sidney-by-the-Sea Rotary Club past-president holds a sample toonie entry in the club’s new Gold Mine weekly raffle.

With their gaming licence fresh in hand this week, the Sidney-by-the-Sea Rotary Club is chomping at the bit to launch its new fundraising campaign — the Rotary Gold Mine.

The first raffle is set to begin Feb. 1.

Club past-president and chair of the raffle committee Bob Leitch says they’ve based the campaign on one started on Prince Edward Island, which has seen success and growth since it started.

People can buy a raffle ticket number, or numbers, for a toonie each, Leitch explained. Once they have their number, players affix stickers to a toonie and drop it into a container at one of a number of local businesses.

Every Monday, the boxes are collected and a winner is drawn from among a maximum of 10,000 tickets — the amount of tickets being sold by the club as the campaign begins.

“People can play every week, or take a week off, and play again later,” he said. “Their number stays with them.”

Winners will receive 50 per cent of the money raised. The other half will be evenly split between the Rotary club itself and a select community organization or charity that sends volunteers to help with the weekly draw.

“We are starting with a small amount of tickets to begin with,” Leitch said. “It’s not a big investment for people and the payout is potentially great. And all of that money raised stays here on the Peninsula.”

The club itself will put their share into their bursaries and grants to local youth, sports and other organizations.

“It’s a different way of fundraising for the club.”

On Feb. 1 at 4:30 p.m., people will be able to buy tickets at stores such as Sidney Cold Beer and Wine, Deep Cove Market, BJs Bakery, Melinda’s Biscotti, Brentwood Bay Metro Liquor, the Roost, Russ Hay’s, Spelt’s Shell and the Military Book Store.

Ticket sales end at 1:30 p.m. every Monday, with winners chosen that night and announced in the Friday editions of the PNR.

Leitch said once the year-long campaign gets rolling, it stands to help up to 25 community groups directly, and many others through Rotary’s grants program.