Running a small town, non-profit rec center is no easy feat for the six member volunteer board that manages The Fillmore Recreation Center in Fillmore, SK. They fundraise throughout the year to afford the costs of overseeing the center; combined monthly electrical and gas bills can easily top $4,500.
In order to supply the center with new sports equipment, they held a BBQ Raffle at their closing curling tournament in March. The money raised will go toward curling equipment for elementary and high students, as well as their adult league, plus gear for their skate club, hockey and baseball teams.
Jenna Millin, Board Secretary, says their small town regularly comes out in force to support the rec center.
“We have so many wonderful volunteers. In a world that is screaming ‘time is money,’ they all still take time away from that and come volunteer. We really couldn’t do it without them. We sold $700 worth of tickets, which were at $2 each. So, 350 tickets were sold in a town of 100! That’s pretty good!”
Raffle winner Dennis Popowich got a BBQ prize worth $450 which was donated by natural gas company SaskEnergy.
Millin went on to say that the different sports clubs which call The Fillmore Recreation Center home also hold regular fundraisers and have their members donate their time to the center as a whole.
“We do live in a small town, and we keep our fees low so everyone can afford to partake in our activities. [That] means we do a huge amount of fundraising, and each group has their own,” Millin explains. “The skate club sold chocolates and had a carnival. The curling club has many tournaments and the hockey teams support our rink in the lounge, as well as taking care of the ice. We have auctions, door prizes, our raffle, a Family Day Brunch and a Santa Day. [Plus], we started selling advertisement space this year, which has gone over really well!”
They used posters, word of mouth and promotion on their Facebook page to advertise the raffle. Millin believes having professionally printed tickets was actually one of the highlights of the event this year.
“Usually we make our tickets with pieces of paper and a lot of cutting, but this year we opened [your raffle tickets] and they were all very professional. We took a lot of pride in selling.”
So, what is Millin’s advice on making sure your raffle runs smoothly and you get a good return on your investment?
“Next time we will get the sellers to pay up front for the tickets with a pre-authorized cheque, and we won’t cash it until the last day of the raffle. That way we’re 100% that all of our tickets will be sold and that the money is all making it to the right [fund].”