PI Rotary’s Great Big Give Back to return by popular demand

2 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The impressive success of a re-engineered popular fundraiser hosted by the Presque Isle Rotary Club earlier this year proved so popular that club leaders have decided to bring it back in 2022.

 The Great Big Give Back will return this winter season, according to Rotary Club Project co-chairs Chantal Pelletier and Jamie Guerrette, who are planning a formal launch at the beginning of the new year, culminating in an event finale — including the big basket raffle drawings and closing of a mini online auction — planned for St. Patrick’s Day.

 “Last year’s event, designed both as a thank-you to our community and in response to the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, was an amazing success, and we were overwhelmed with the solicitation support from our business community, and tickets purchase support by so many people,” said Pelletier. 

“As part of this year’s special fundraising event, we’re again asking the community to ‘Give Back’ in three important ways: Give Money; Give Support; Give Time.”    

Plans for the 2022 Great Big Give Back include a Great Big Basket raffle of several impressive baskets filled with both purchased and donated gift certificates and merchandise.  Along with the raffle, the club will set aside items for a mini online auction, as they did last year, to maintain a piece of the club’s annual Rotary Auction, now in its 74th year.  

Two other components will encourage community members to give back by shopping local and volunteering time, as well as recognizing outstanding community volunteers.

 “Our club will be buying $5,000 in items from donors who have generously supported our auction in prior years, and we are seeking an additional $5,000 in solicited items.  The items purchased and received will be included in our Great Big Give Back mini auction or in one of eight (8) Great Big Gift Baskets valued at approximately $1,250, said Guerrette. 

“For those who participated and bought tickets on the five baskets this year, we have expanded from the five last year, to eight, providing increased chances of winning this time around,” she said.

Proceeds from this year’s fundraising event will support the Presque Isle Rotary Club Scholarship Fund, the Francis Malcolm Science Center, C-A-N-C-E-R (Caring Area Neighbors for Cancer Education and Recovery) and Aroostook Partners in the Arts.

 The popular and long-running community tradition that is the annual Presque Isle Rotary Auction has seen significant changes in recent years that have included different formats and media outlets.  Through all of the transition, the one constant and critical factor behind the auction’s success, over more than seven decades, has been the support of local businesses, community organizations and supporters.  

The success of last year’s Great Big Give Back carried that tradition of support forward and provided the opportunity for a greater number of community members to engage and support the club’s fundraising efforts.

For more information on the Presque Isle Rotary Club Great Big Give Back, contact project co-chairs Chantal Pelletier at chantal.pelletier@mmgins.com or Jamie Guerrette at jguerrette@growwithtfg.com.