Posted by Elaine Thompson on Mar 01, 2019
Eleven Rotary Clubs, one working in tandem with another club raise over $160,000 from twelve highlighted projects within Saskatchewan. 
Eleven Clubs submitted reports from Saskatchewan. Of the eleven, eight build fundraising events around food. Dinner theatre, a Valentine Gala and Steak Night are three examples. Two novel events to check out are Moose Jaw Wakamow's Spelling Bee and Melfort's Rotary Radio Days where advertising is used as a fundraiser.

Assiniboia (Sandy Cristo)

Our annual Dinner Theatre is our favourite fundraising event. We have partnered with our local acting club called Popcorn Productions. Having local talent perform generates a lot of excitement in our community. The event is looked forward to yearly, with great anticipation! Our community supports this event in many different ways. Businesses offer door prizes and raffle items, and they also buy staff tickets to celebrate their Christmas party. The timing of our event is the end of November, so it is a great opportunity to use as a Christmas party event. Our club is very proud of this event.
Last year it raised $10,392.29!! We have pledged some of the money raised to help the Arts Council pay for a new lighting system. This system is going to make performing on stage a much more pleasant experience. It also will give the viewers a better view of the whole stage.

Melfort (Ken Singer)

Rotary Club of Melfort has just completed its 12th annual Rotary Radio Days Fundraiser.
How it works: Each year, our Rotary club members canvas Melfort’s businesses and community organizations
to sell them a Radio Days on-air advertising campaign. The advertisers can choose from 3 packages, offering them 6 to 28 thirty second commercials on our local radio stations, CJVR FM and CK 750 AM.
Many of the commercials are written and (in many cases) voiced by Rotary members. The commercials are scheduled over a 7-day period, usually the 2nd or 3rd week in February. Rotary receives amazing exposure during our Radio Days week with almost 1,100 Radio Days ads being heard on the two stations in a 7-day period.
This year, our members were able to sell over $15,000 in Radio Days packages to almost 90 advertising clients in Melfort.
After a small honorarium to the station, the Rotary Club of Melfort will realize a net profit of $13,500 this year.
In the 12 years the project has been operating in Melfort, the club has raised $134,000 that is used to fund Rotary projects in our community. 

Moose Jaw Wakamow (Gayle Jones) 

Our club’s newest and most fun fundraiser is our spelling bee.  It takes place close to National Literacy Day in late January. The profits go to local literary projects and amount to about $2000.
We invite six businesses or organizations to participate.  Each of the six groups must provide 2 spellers and pre-buy 10, 15 or 20 tickets at $20 each.  They can resell the tickets or give them away.  Words are tricky but commonly used.  Three teams go head to head in each of 2 rounds. Two unusual words are also given and the teams have to make up a definition.  The funnier the word and definition the better because audience applause is used to measure the best definition.  The goal of the Spelling Bee is fun.  The top two teams have a final spelling round to determine the winner.

Prince Albert  (John Morash)

The Rotary Loberstfest is the premier lobster event in Prince Albert.  This event consistently sells out. Each guest has a choice of a large Atlantic lobster or a premium steak as well as a large assortment of delicious dishes from the buffet. 
How it works:  Guests are treated to a fun-filled evening of games of chance including pyramid raffle, bucket raffle, reverse bingo, bonanza bingo, and the ever popular ‘bucket of joy’.  Guests also have the opportunity to take home some great products provided by our sponsors through silent and live auctions. A dance follows the dinner. Lobsterfest takes place in the Ches Leach room at the Art Hauser Centre.
Market Demographic:
Approximately 340 event attendees are expected.  As a fundraising event, targeted attendees are those who will participate in the games of chance and auctions.  Many attendees are representatives of the businesses who are supporting the event.  There is minimal advertising and media leading up to the event. 
Date: May 11th, 2019
Tickets:  $75 each
Net proceeds raised: $30K-$35K per year. 

Regina Eastview (Ron Okumura)

The Valentine Gala was originally started in 2005 by the Community Service Committee as a social event for our club members, partners and friends. About 3 years later, when revenues from bingos (our main fundraisers) had dropped dramatically because of changes to provincial legislation, the board decided that the Valentine Gala was the best option to replace the fundraising shortfall if it was expanded and organized to take advantage of fundraising opportunities. The directors of the Community Service and International Service Committees, the main beneficiaries of the club’s fundraising, became co-chairs of the new Valentine Gala. With the resources of the two committees and support of the whole club, the event was modified to become our main fundraiser. 
Since we started 12 years ago the Gala has become our main fundraiser and now generates more than $25,000 a year.  The funds raised go to the Canadian Mental Health Association Regina Branch and the Ripple Effect Program as well as other projects our club supports. The event also puts Rotary in the public eye through the promotion of the Gala and the charities we help.
It takes over 1000 volunteer hours to hold the event. We have a committee of about twelve people who meet for about nine months of the year planning the Gala.  The whole club is involved with buying and selling tickets, obtaining silent auction items and helping decorate the hotel. Members also enjoy attending the Gala with friends.

Regina Industrial Parks (Carlyle Murray)

Our biggest fundraiser is our annual pancake breakfast. The Breakfast is held in conjunction with the Queen City Exhibition. 2018 was our 21st year.
Breakfast is served from 6:30 A.M. – 9:00 A.M. We have served anywhere from 260 to 350 people over the years. Weather plays a part as the breakfast is served outdoors.  Club participation is great the day of the event - anywhere from 90 to 100%. The success of the event is very much dependent on Corporate sponsorship and door prizes from companies.  We make in the neighbourhood of $2,400/yr. 

Regina Oskaya (Ray Ruth)

Saskatchewan Roughrider Lottery – 1200 tickets are printed and sold at $5.00 each. There are eleven draws made for two tickets for up to 11 Roughrider home games with the first two tickets drawn being for the pre-season game the eleventh one for a possible playoff game
Christmas Choral Concert – Club members organize and sell tickets for one night of music with performances by 10-12 different groups lasting approximately 1.5 hours. The proceeds of both fundraisers go to fund the Literacy programs at Sacred Heart Community School.

Saskatoon (Paul Gauthier)

Most of our fundraisers are undertaken in conjunction with one or more of the other four Rotary Clubs in Saskatoon.

Our members participate as organizers, volunteers, sponsors and event participants. The greatest joy that our members get from getting involved are:

  1. the direct sense of giving back to the community;

  2. fellowship with fellow Rotarians in our community;

  3. interacting with people in the community and reminding ourselves that people are always looking for an opportunity to have fun and give back to the community in the process;

  4. working in a happy environment;

  5. running into old acquaintances at the event;

  6. meeting new people and having the opportunity to tell them a little about Rotary; and

  7. good food!


Saskatoon Meewasin (Garth Courtney)

For the past 17 years, our club has been holding a Lobsterfest as our major fundraiser. This is held in the spring of each year and we set it up in a local soccer venue.
How it works: This is a one-day event, but planning begins 5-6 months in advance. The committee usually consists of two Co-Chairs and committee chairs for tickets, 50/50, auction, cooking, serving, desserts/coffee, bar, set up/decorating, promotion, finance and human resources. The committee meets once a month in the beginning, then weekly the last month before the event.
Our tickets are moderately priced. Past few years we set them at $75 pp with a $40 tax receipt. Members promote the event and sell tickets. The other 4 clubs in the city have tickets as well and do support the event. Our average ticket sales over the past 5 years has been around 450.
A local Search and Rescue organization helps with the setup/take down and clean up while a local charity group helps at the bar.  Each group receives a donation for this work.  
Overall it is a very busy day from 9:00 AM to 9:30 PM or later for all the volunteers. During this time there is great fellowship among the volunteers and members of the community enjoying the event. We have many people who come year after year and look forward to the event.
We serve whole 1/2 kg Atlantic lobsters,  with a variety of salads, buns, and baked potatoes with all the condiments. We also offer an 8 oz steak to enjoy with the lobster for $10 extra. One of the highlights of the buffet table is the desserts, many homemade and there is no end to them.
From a financial point of view, we are satisfied with the results, considering it is a one-day event. Over the past 5 years, our proceeds have been in excess of $120,000.
This has been a wonderful fundraiser for us and a great event for our community. The funds raised are used to support a WCS school in Guatemala, local scholarships, ShelterBox, seniors home, reading programs, RAP (Restorative Action Program) and a music festival to name a few.

Saskatoon North (Brenda Banbury)

December Steak Night – Various “drinking establishments” in Saskatoon provide Steak Nights as fundraising opportunities for various organizations.
The ‘Dinner’ (steak, chicken or veggie and side dishes) is offered at a very reasonable price, our club sells tickets at a price that provides a nice profit.  The evenings have included silent auctions, 50/50 draw, booze raffle, Christmas baking raffle and live auction.  Live auctions have included member-provided experiences (like French cuisine or a Malaysian dinner for 6) or a service (windows/doors). Depending upon the effort expended by the organizing committee and attendance we raise $3000 - $6000 (tickets cost $20 - $25). Rotarians from the other Saskatoon clubs support this social event.
Rotary Food Tent at Ag in Motion (a 3-day event organized by Glacier Media, a subsidiary of the Western Producer) held in mid-July on at least one section of land “in the middle of nowhere” near Langham, with power provided by generators.  The RC of Saskatoon North was asked to work the entrance gates, collecting money and passes, at the first show in Western Canada held in 2015, which attracted about 5000 visitors.  At this first show, we saw the need for a larger, faster food vendor – food trucks were the only option the 1st year. 
We are now into year 4 with the Rotary Food Tent.  In 2018 attendance was 30,300 with exhibitors and visitors from the US, Europe and Australia!  Ag in Motion provides the required tents, tables and chairs for dining. A small committee organizes all the logistics required to pull off this fundraiser.  Organizing requires renting tables, BBQs, a refrigerated reefer, requesting Rotary D5550 insurance, pre-selling food vouchers, sourcing and picking up/delivery of burgers, buns,  Saskatoon berry pie, water and pop AND recruiting volunteers for set up on the Monday, then 45 – 50 more volunteers during the week to BBQ, assemble burgers/smokies in advance, keep coolers cold, clean tables, fill condiment containers and work as cashiers– all to achieve fast, good food with a smile. 
Comments: It has been a learning experience – the 1st year we barely broke even but in 2018 we had a $20,000 profit.  Volunteers are Rotarians, family and friends of Rotarians and some of the Saskatoon South Days for Girls volunteers.  The day is long and can be hot, but the volunteers enjoy themselves and do what is required. Many volunteers are repeaters – they have a lot of fun, network and go home exhausted but ‘knowing they did well’.   The goal for 2019 is to increase sales by preselling more food vouchers, catering on Tuesday or Wednesday evening and launching a ‘Rotary Food” blimp to show the world where food – fast and good can be found. 
Funds from both fundraisers are used for youth, local and international projects – approx. 1/3 to each service.

Weyburn – Deana Mainil

Our club has had 2 main fundraisers since I joined Rotary 4 years ago – a Christmas Chocolate/Nut Tray Fundraiser
How it works: Each year beginning in November we begin selling.  Each member of our Rotary is given a list of Weyburn businesses which they are to contact and ask if they would like to purchase a 12-inch tray of decadent chocolates and nuts.  The last couple of years we have sold just over 900 trays at $40 per tray.  Last year our profit was $17,000.  This year it was down a little due to purchasing a more expensive product and because we purchased extra trays to be used for next year.
And a Rotary Golf Ball Drop – This project has been a huge success for several years but even more so now since we have partnered with the Estevan Rotary Club the last couple of years.  Joining with another club and still having the same payout and splitting the expenses has proven very beneficial.  In fact, the largest expense in this project is the printing of high-quality tickets.  We have almost eliminated radio advertising completely with no change in the number of tickets sold.  Each club member is asked to sell at least 5 books of 10 tickets with each ticket selling for $5.  We sell all summer long and have a drop in September.  For the month and a half prior to the drop, club members also sell tickets at two of our local grocery stores on Fridays and Saturdays.  This year between the 2 clubs we sold 8,000 tickets netting $30,000 which is $15,000 for each club.  On top of that, I believe each club receives a grant of $2,500.
How it works: Every ticket number corresponds to a number on a golf ball. We sort 10,000 balls every year to be sure every ball is labelled clearly with a black sharpie and to be sure that every ball is accounted for.  On the day of the drop, which is alternated between the Weyburn Golf Club and the Estevan Golf Club from year to year, we have a large picker truck lift a big steel bin with a trap door high above one hole.  We do a count down and then have the president of Rotary or the chair of the Golf Ball Drop committee pull the 50-metre rope to open the trap door.  All the golf balls which were sold come rushing out.  The first one in the hole wins the $5,000 first prize, the second one in wins $3,000 and the third one nearest the hole wins $1,000.