Posted by Elaine Thompson on Mar 01, 2019
They may be few, but the three clubs of Northwestern Ontario are keeping pace with the two other Provinces in District 5550. This is largely due to The Rotary Club of Dryden’s Rotary Radio Bingo which over the past twelve years has raised $1.3 million dollars.


There are only three clubs in Northwestern Ontario; all three responded. Kenora put their focus on their Lucky Duck Race, and Dream Vacation Draw which together earned about $32,000. Sioux Lookout used food to raise dollars hosting a Pancake Breakfast and Lobsterfest, while Dryden put its emphasis on Rotary Radio Bingo, the District's biggest fundraiser at about $150,000 yearly.

Kenora – Lynn Carlson

Lucky Duck Race, This July 1st event earns the club between $6,000 to $8,000 after sharing the pot with another local charity that we invite to participate with us. For the last couple of years, it has been the Special Olympics. They are a fun and enthusiastic group with which to work. We now add a BBQ and free children’s activities at the race.
The race itself and the selling of tickets is a well-oiled process as the club has been doing this for many years. We set up tables at the annual home show, local businesses and markets for the two months leading up to the race to sell tickets and promote Rotary. The community is very supportive. Our only challenge now is to sell our tickets as fast as the Special Olympic Athletes who jump right in there as soon as the tickets are available.
On the day of the race, there is a large crowd that comes out to watch and see if they are one of the 20 lucky winners. The contractor who volunteers his time and equipment to release the ducks, also volunteers his crew to help set up our activities, such as hauling water up to fill our children’s duck pond where children win prizes.
The Lucky Duck Fundraiser provides lots of opportunities for Rotarians to visit with each other and the community without a lot of effort. Getting enough volunteers is never a problem.
Dream Vacation Draw – Successful fundraiser that raises over $20,000. In 2019 we made $25,255. There are a limited number of tickets printed for the opportunity to win ten vacations. Participants can win more than once as their tickets are put back in the barrel after each draw. Tickets sell themselves as we have loyal supporters, including our own Rotarians. The draw takes place at a fun Rotary dinner, held at a local restaurant.

Sioux Lookout – Klaus Knorz

We hold an annual pancake breakfast in conjunction with the local Blueberry Festival in the summer.  The second fundraiser is the annual Lobsterfest Dinner which takes place in the fall. They tend to be our most successful fundraisers, from a financial perspective.
Both of these fundraisers require many volunteers to put together and carry out successfully.  As such, both events bring out almost all our members, as well as several family members, who have grown accustomed to taking on the same roles for several years. It has become a tradition for our club members to participate. 
Some members try to schedule their vacations so as not to conflict with one of these fundraisers.  More than any other fundraising we do, the Pancake Breakfast and the Lobsterfest Dinner highlights the teamwork and reinforce the sense of unity in our club.
These events also bring a lot of publicity to the Rotary Club, as hundreds of community members attend.  The community gets to see Rotarians in action, working together for a good cause.  Raising the profile of Rotary in Sioux Lookout is key to maintaining public support for all of our events, and for stimulating the interest of prospective new members. 

Dryden – John Borst

The Rotary Club of Dryden’s favourite fundraising event is the Dryden Rotary Radio Bingo, The PowerPoint below includes an audio-track and describes in detail how it operated in 2015-2016. In 2017-2018 the net proceeds were $160,000. The funds are managed by the Trustees of the Dryden Rotary Charity Foundation according to the rules of the Lottery and Gaming Commission of Ontario. We project that in 2020 we will reach two million dollars.
Dryden has three additional fundraising activities, an Internet auction, Dryden Blooms in which we sell hanging baskets and roadside containers on behalf of the City to local merchants to beautify the city in return for a commission on sales, and staffing the bar for The Walleye Masters Fishing Tournament.