PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Presque Isle Rotarians and community members gathered on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the finale of the club’s second annual Great Big Give Back event.
Due to the global pandemic of 2020, the PI Rotary Club reimagined their seven-decades-old auction in order to support local businesses as well as still provide annual support for local community causes. The inaugural 2020 Great Big Give Back was an outstanding success, so the event organizers decided to continue with the format and expand their efforts for this year’s event.
The club hosted their finale event March 17 at the Northeastland Hotel and broadcasted a Facebook Live Event which included the final raffle drawing for each of the eight gift baskets valued at more than $1,000 worth of merchandise and gift certificates from local merchants and organizations. Additionally, the online auction supported by Gregg Auctions closed on 40-plus items available for bid.
The goal for the event was to raise $30,000 to support the Francis Malcolm Science Center, Caring Area Neighbors for Cancer Education and Recovery, Aroostook Partners in the Arts, the Presque Isle Rotary Club Scholarship Fund and other Rotary and community projects.
“The Presque Isle Rotary Club is so very excited to announce that due to the overwhelming support by the community we far exceeded our goal and raised $39,194.This was a culmination of the sale of nearly 1,900 raffle tickets, over $10,000 in revenue from auction proceeds, nearly $7,000 in cash donations and other revenues,” said event chair Chantal Pelletier.
“We were aggressive when setting our goals for the 2022 event, and the community pulled together to support our efforts despite the unfortunate impacts of recent world events which could have been a make or break for the overall success,” she said. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded last year’s fundraising efforts which is huge. This is just proof that we have an amazing community that pulls together in good times and in bad.”
“Change is always difficult and we have certainly learned through the pandemic that the Presque Isle Rotary Club continues to be resilient and has the ability to adapt and change,” said event co-chair Jamie Guerrette.
“The approach to the Rotary auction has been successful as evident by both the buy in from the club and the continued support from the community. Because of this, we are eager and ready to do it again. We look forward to another successful year and all that it has to bring thanks to the support of the community and local businesses,” she said.
“Stay tuned because before we know, we will be filling up baskets and selling tickets for year three,” Guerrette said.
The chairs thanked the community, donors and supporters for making the fundraising transition a success.