Rotary replaces annual steak dinner fundraiser with 50/50 raffle


GREENFIELD — Think of it as a calorie-free, raffle-rich alternative.

For the first time in its eight year history — due to COVID-19 precautions — the Greenfield Rotary Club’s annual Steak’n Bake’n Raffle event will take place without the steak and bake this year.

Instead, Rotarians will be selling 50/50 raffle tickets to raise funds for local nonprofits.

The top raffle winner will take home at least a $5,000 cash prize.

“It is going to be a new adventure,” said Kirk Jocham, club president. “We hope it’s going to be a great outcome for the community and the charities that we’re going to help assist.”

“Rotary Raffle” tickets will be sold at five local businesses from Oct. 19-28, as well as at a drive-through ticket sales event at the former Ponderosa parking lot Oct. 22-25.

The cost is $10 per ticket or three for $25, and must be purchased with cash only due to state raffle laws.

As a 50/50 raffle, the total pot will be divided down the middle — with one half going to the lucky winning ticket holder, and the other half being divided equally among five local humanitarian organizations, which will be announced soon.

The starting pot is $10,000 and will grow depending on how many tickets are sold.

“That means the lucky winner takes home at least $5,000,” said Stacey Wixson, who chairs the Steak’n Bake’n Raffle event.

Rotarians are hopeful that this year’s socially-distanced alternative will still raise plenty of money for local nonprofits, despite the decision to cancel the steak dinner.

The committee decided in July to forego the popular event, which drew an estimated 500 people to the Hancock County Fairgrounds last year.

Since it was first held in 2012, the event has raised over $550,000. Last year’s event alone raised $108,000.

Normally the Rotary Club’s main raffle at the Steak’n Bake’n event is a reverse raffle, where the object is to have your name stay in the pot as long as possible. The final 10 people have the option to split the pot evenly or to keep drawing until one name remains.

Typically 50/50 drawings are also held each hour throughout the night, along with other money-generating games.

The collective goal is to raise money for local nonprofits, which hasn’t changed, said Wixson.

“I’m hoping that we’ll be very successful in figuring out how to raise just as much money as we normally do,” she said.

The raffle will benefit the Kenneth Butler Soup Kitchen, Hancock Hope House, The Landing Place, Talitha Koum Recovery House and Hancock County Food Pantry.

Wixson would love to see the steak return to the Steak’n Bake’n Raffle event next year, but only time will tell, she said.

“For now we wanted to protect our members and of course the community, so we knew the right thing to do this year was to cancel the in-person event and focus on the raffle,” said Wixson.

The 50/50 raffle concept was an idea borrowed from a “Half Pot” raffle that raised over $600,000 in Evansville this year, she said.

There’s an important stipulation Wixson hopes all raffle ticket buyers remember: You must present the winning ticket to win, so hold on to those tickets.

The winner will be drawn live on the Rotary Club of Greenfield’s Facebook page at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 29.

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The Rotary Club of Greenfield is holding a 50/50 “Rotary Raffle” this year, to take place of the annual Steak’n Bake’n Raffle event which was canceled due to COVID-19.

The winning ticket holder can take home at least a $5,000 cash prize. The winner will be drawn live on the Rotary Club of Greenfield’s Facebook page at 12:30 p.m. Oct. 29.

Tickets will be sold from Oct. 19-28 – for $10 each or three for $25 — at the following Greenfield locations:

ATA National Title Group, 1298 N. State St.

Forty Financial, 812 E. Main St.

Daily Reporter, 22 W. New Road

Price Eye Care, 946 N. State St.

Ye Olde Head Shoppe, 949 N. State St.

Tickets will also be sold at a drive-through event in the former Ponderosa parking lot, at 1585 N. State St., at the following times:

Oct. 22: 4-8 p.m.

Oct. 23: 4-8 p.m.

Oct. 24: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Oct. 25: 12-6 p.m.