Posted by Elaine Thompson on Mar 01, 2019
Ten Manitoba Rotary Clubs reported on fifteen fundraising events. Although three clubs did not report their net proceeds, over $246,000 was raised for service projects within Manitoba communities during the past year. 


In Manitoba, ten clubs responded to DG Elaine's request. Of those ten, seven shared unique events. Descriptions of an Airshow, Fishing Derby, Golf Tournament, Comedy Night, Half-Marathon and Scotch Tasting are events you may find of interest.

Dauphin – Mel Wyshynski

Our club’s first Lobsterfest was held in 2004 at Selo Ukraina, the Ukrainian Festival and Countryfest site located approximately 15 km south of Dauphin. Rotarians did all the cooking (steak, lobster and all). While the event was great for the community, it fell short as a fundraiser. In the years that followed we continued to hold the event but moved the venue to the lower cost outdoor covered stage area, and kept a lid on costs. During this time several issues surfaced: a) the weather - subjected us to the “whims” of Mother Nature b) the location - being 15 km out of town made it difficult for some to attend, and c) some of the food preparation was difficult. The event needed someone to breathe some life back into this fundraiser.
Fortunately, two relatively new members “saved the day”. Anjelisa Skinner, who grew up in Newfoundland and Kara Vanderheyden. They immediately moved the event indoors to an arena in town, replaced the steaks with a whole hog roast and then added indoor entertainment, games and dancing. The event sold-out in 2017 and 2018.
The event was a “Hidden Jewel” that simply needed a “new and refreshed” approach along with some “polishing”. Our net fundraising more than doubled. We now expect to make in the range of $10K to $12K.
The community once again is enthusiastic about the event. So much so that we now involve other organizations and in return for their assistance, we make a donation to their organization. 

Flin Flon – Dean Grove

a) Snowbirds Airshow-Twice in the past 4 years, the club has had the opportunity to host the Snowbirds at the Flin Flon airport. The event involved the entire club and many community organizations in the months preceding the event and brought many visitors into the region. We were able to net approximately 75,000.00 per show from the sponsorship of the community/regional businesses and the profits from each airshow. As well our partner group the Inner Wheel made significant profits from running canteens each event. The first show attracted approximately 5,000 people and the second show attracted approximately 3500 people. The club contributed $150,000 from these two events towards the construction of a New Emergency Ward at the Flin Flon Hospital which opened this February
Blue Berry Jam Music Festival
The Rotary Club mobilized 83 volunteers to run a beer garden and food concession for a weekend music festival which had its inaugural debut in Flin Flon this past August. The club partnered with the Inner Wheel and other organizations to realize a net profit of about $19,000, $4,000 of which was donated back to the Inner Wheel. 

Neepawa  - Bob Durston

Our favourite fundraiser is our annual TV auction. It is our favourite because it gets almost 100 % involvement with club members as well as generates most of the funds necessary for our club’s operation. It has been so successful for the club because it involves people of all skill sets, whether they are on camera announcers, cashiers taking money, people moving items to and from the auction studio, or people answering phones to take bids.  They are all contributing in a meaningful way.
The project involves canvassing local businesses for donations of new merchandise to be auctioned on our local TV channel. We get about 150 donations.  The items are listed on a poster which is distributed throughout the community.  The items are collected and for about 5 hours we are on TV auctioning these items.  At any given time, 8 items are available to be bid on.

Swan River (PDG Dave Theunissen)

Our radio auction got its roots some 50+ years ago when it was just a big garage sale with an auctioneer. We sold everything that was of no use to the owners, who asked Rotary to come & get it.
How it works: Today, our auction has items donated to us by merchants. They are good items because we name the merchant who donated the item. We canvass the whole community. Merchants donate an item or a gift certificate - professional businesses ie law firms, dentists & doctors donate cash. The donated items remain in the place of business. The lucky bidder pays for his or her bid, receives a "paid" invoice and then goes to the merchant, shows the "paid" invoice and collects the item. In our best year, we netted $14,000.00. Our cash donations cover the cost of operations & our auction runs around 65% of the total value of donated items. CJGX broadcasts from the boardroom of the Swan Valley Credit Union & the receptionist at SVCU issues the "paid" invoices. We had 5 phone operators, 3 bid posters & 2 winning bid callers and we ran the auction from 7 pm to 11 pm. This year we netted $13,000.00+.

The Pas – Ken Kelly

The Rotary Club of The Pas has three major fundraisers. The first is The Bill Bannock Classic Ice Fishing Derby held in April, now in its 25th year. It builds a club spirit and participation. Prizes include $70,000 cash, trips, TVs, ice drilling augers, generators, fishing paraphernalia etc. Our profit varies from year to year as it depends on the turnout.
Our second fundraiser is a lobster supper held in November. Members participate in a fun-filled day of preparing and serving a lobster supper and an evening of entertainment. New members bring different ideas on decorating, fundraising etc. One challenge we face with this event is having the lobster arrive on time. Over the years we have had to make road trips to Winnipeg to pick up the lobster as they had arrived too late to get on the shipper’s truck. Last year we had to delay our supper a couple of weeks as there was a storm on the east coast and the fishermen could not get out to trap the lobster. We still turned a profit on this. People in The Pas are good about rescheduling events.
Our third event is a raffle on a side by side ATV (All Terrain Vehicle). We sell 1500 tickets at $20 each. We have a dedicated group of members that are willing to sell tickets and we do quite well.

Winnipeg – Nancy Cosway

Rotary Club of Winnipeg has organized RIBFEST as our signature fundraising event for the past 4 years. It is our biggest fundraiser, raising over $17,000 last year. It is also a great way to have the community find out what Rotary is.  We have a lot of sponsored digital signage throughout the city. Reaching out to the sponsors gets Rotary known and people want to know what Rotary does.
Rotarians volunteer at the event with their T-shirts, knowledge, and enthusiasm about the club and the two designated projects chosen by club members.  It is fantastic to see how hard our club members work planning and putting on the event.  As one member said, “RIBFEST really brings our club together”.  Other Rotary clubs in Winnipeg volunteer at the event and that is a great partnership.
The three-day event is fun with music, great food, games for the kids, beer garden and lots of good conversation.  One of our members for the past 3 years has been in charge of the Wet Wipes.  He gets great joy out of handing these out to people with sticky fingers and telling them about Rotary and the great work Rotary does. 
RIBFEST planning begins in October for the August event, which yields much satisfaction for our club members and the projects we support.  RIBFEST #5 takes place August 23 to 25th at The Forks.

Winnipeg East AM – Terry Prychitko

Major Fundraising Events:
1. ‘Keep Them in School” Golf Tournament
This is our main annual fundraiser for the “Keep Them in School” Foundation of the River East Transcona School Division (RETSD) and for other local and international club projects.
The official sponsors at various $$$ levels receive recognition as scholarship sponsors during the graduation/commencement ceremonies at the various schools in the RETSD, signage at the tournament, and golf foursomes.
We have been able to fund $20,000 in scholarships annually resulting in 40 annual $500 scholarships for high school graduates continuing their education at the university, college or technical school level AND we have also raised approximately $10,000 annually for other Rotary local and international projects.
2. Big Daddy Tazz and Friends Comedy Night
We have been the sponsors and partners with Big Daddy Tazz in planning and delivering his annual Charity Fundraiser.  We partner with various charitable and service groups in our community to sell tickets on a 50/50 basis and our club provides the administrative and financial backing for this event. The event also includes a 50/50 draw and a rainbow auction.
The event raises approximately $5,000 for our partner charities who sell tickets on a 50/50 basis and an additional $5,000+ for our club’s support of local and international projects annually. Our January 2019 concert was a sell-out and an artistic success because of the talent provided by our impresario, Big Daddy Tazz. 

Winnipeg Fort Garry – Hal Brownlee

The Winnipeg Fort Garry Rotary Club has two major fundraisers that get the entire club excited and active.  Every year we run the food tent for the Teddy Bear Picnic, and we host a half marathon in the fall. 

The Teddy Bear Picnic supports the Children's Hospital Foundation, and we are proud to take part in such a large event.  Rain or shine, we serve families pancakes, hotdogs and hamburgers.  The tent attracts volunteers from the entire community, and we have had a great time alongside the Mayor, MPs, MLAs, radio personalities, and various local celebrities to help make the event a success.  The event is an extraordinary opportunity to participate in a family-oriented event, showcase the Rotary brand to thousands of people, and collaborate to support a fantastic cause. 

Our Half Marathon is entirely planned by the club and has everyone pulling together to provide an exceptional experience for our runners and families.  It includes a 5 km
Family Fun Run, which is held at St Vital Park.  In the past year we have involved our Rotaract club, and volunteers from Fort Richmond High School. We raise upwards of $50,000 to support local initiatives including the Knowles Centre and the Bruce Oake Recovery Centre.  The event is cherished by the runners and is an exceptional experience for our club to pull together and provide Service Above Self.  It also gives us all the bragging rights to say we 'run' a half marathon! 

Winnipeg St Boniface St Vital – Richard Senez

The Winnipeg St. Boniface St. Vital Rotary club’s main fundraisers:
  • The primary fundraiser is our spring dinner held at the Norwood Hotel (this year on Thursday, April 18th). Tickets are $125 each.
  • Our secondary fundraising event is our Scotch Tasting event held in late fall which has been held for the last five years at the Winnipeg Winter Club. Tickets for this function were $100 last year.

We also do small other fundraisers such as the Xmas nut trays sold for $25 each. 

Winnipeg West – David Deane

Our only significant fund-raiser has been running for 68 years, so it’s not very fresh. The best resource for our annual 'Chicken Fest’ would be the website ( ) which is currently only updated to last year’s 67th Annual event. We are about to make the following changes for 2019 - dropping Mood Disorders as a signature project beneficiary (we will concentrate on the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation),  the addition of a 50/50 raffle ticket and activating ticket purchase online. 
Chicken Delight - the fundraiser’s namesake suppler, creates a flyer annually with very wide distribution Typical results, in this case, 2017, were $75,000 total revenue and net profit $37,000, all of which goes to community projects.