The Rotary Club of Orillia raised $53,000 for local charities through its first Orillia Car Lottery.
A 2023 Ford Bronco Sport, sourced from Thor Motors Ford Orillia, was awarded earlier this month to Tammy Grant, the owner of the Sunken Ship Tropical Bar and Tiki Lounge. As part of the raffle, others won an e-bike, a big-screen television, a new notebook computer, among other prizes.
Jack Nolan, chair of the club's Car Lottery, says Grant was elated to have the winning ballot for the grand prize.
"Her car was actually in need of a major repair," he said. "It just worked out that she got a brand-new car and chose to have it in the cyber orange colour. She said that she liked that it stood out."
Grant says she was speechless when she got the winning phone call from Nolan.
"I was shocked," she said. "This is a big help at this time of year. It's nice to have a brand new vehicle with no repairs needed to be done."
Perhaps more importantly, the fundraiser made a "significant difference" for seven charities in Orillia and area that do "meaningful work."
"This was a great thing that the Rotary Club did for the charities," Grant said. "It was a big success and I'm very grateful to have been a part of it."
The charities included Orillia and Lake Country Physician Recruitment, Sharing Place Food Centre, Mariposa House Hospice, The Lighthouse, Green Haven Shelter for Women, Independent Living Services Simcoe, and Big Brothers Big Sisters Orillia & District.
"I think this is something we will do again," Nolan said. "For our first go around, it was very successful."
During the fundraiser around 9,000 tickets were sold, exceeding the expectations of club members. Charitable donations from the fundraiser ranged from $5,000 to $12,000.
All of the charities that benefited from the fundraiser were thrilled with the results, Nolan says.
"We are really glad we can help them with their cause," he said. "As a small service club, Rotary can't take on everything on our own, which is why it's important to channel the money to the delivery mechanisms that exist."