By Jenna Cocullo, Local Journalism Initiative
Chatham-Kent is once again pulling through on the fundraising front, as locals are leading the board in provincial raffle sales.
People have until Friday evening to take part.
Thirty-four Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies across Ontario have come together to raise money for the Bigger Together 50/50 raffle, aimed at raising funds for the youth mentorship organization.
“All the money that is raised locally stays local,” said Holly Larivee, caseworker for Big Brothers Big Sisters Chatham-Kent. “In the collective pot, Chatham-Kent is the leader in the sales and we hope it stays that way as well.”
The raffle is an extension of last year’s initiative, which Chatham-Kent managed to raise $50,000. However, all the agencies decided to partner up this time around to offer a large monetary prize and maximize fundraising potential.
Link tracking will allow the money raised to stay in their respective communities. This year’s total amount raised will be released at the end of the raffle.
Tickets went on sale in September and will be drawn on Oct. 16. Tickets are 10 for $10, 40 for $20 and 200 for $40. They can only be purchased online until 9 p.m. on Friday.
“Hopefully some of the areas catch up and give us the jackpot,” Larivee said.
This will be the only fundraising initiative the local Big Brother Big Sister chapter will be able to put on for a while because of COVID-19.
“We’re not at a loss because of some of the things (funding) that were put in place at the government level, but this fundraising initiative will be important for us to stay open in the future,” Larivee said.
Normally the organization collects the proceeds from the Chatham-Kent Wedding Show, partners with the Children’s Treatment Centre Foundation for the Over the Edge summer fundraiser, and organizes the Chatham-Kent ComicCon.
The local chapter partners 350 youth with a mentor annually.
Larivee said during the pandemic, their program has been “running full force” although before Stage 3 reopening, youth and their mentors had to meet up virtually. Now they are allowed to be together again provided they social distance and wear a mask.