A local service club and business organization are joining forces to promote shopping local while providing a chance to win prizes.
The Y's Men club and Southern Georgian Bay Chamber of Commerce want area residents to help support local businesses during the club’s annual raffle.
“All proceeds will go to our Midland YMCA Youth program,” said Y’s Men raffle chair Tim Dunlop.
Dunlop said they had also tried unsuccessfully to extend the raffle’s original draw date from February 2 to July 1 due to COVID-19 and the government’s decision to impose a lockdown that started on Boxing Day.
“We anticipate that the majority of sales will have to occur online through our website and/or in conjunction with the chamber members," he said.
There are three prizes up for grabs; $2,000 (20 X $100 gift certificates to spend at any chamber member businesses), $300 (3X$100) and $200 (2X$100).
Working with chamber general manager Cathy Tait, the club is also looking to promote bulk buying from businesses (ie realtors, law firms and other businesses).
“In turn, these businesses can give a $10 ticket to their clients,” Dunlop said.
Over the years, the Y’s Men's Club of Midland has raised large sums for the Midland YMCA.
“We have given a total of $119,500 over the past 12 years,” said Dunlop, who noted that from 2008-2013, the club gave $75,000 to the organization’s capital campaign.
“Since 2014, we have given $42,500 for youth programming. We also have been involved in the Move to Give campaign for 2018 and 2019 (contributing) a total of $2,000.
The Friday night youth program started in 2013, with approximately 20 youth and has continued to grow over the years.
“Prior to COVID, there would be 150-plus youth at the Y,” Dunlop said, pointing out that providing a weekly night for local teens to get active and have fun allows youth from the entire community to enjoy the many benefits of the YMCA.
“Doors opened at 6:30, youth would register according to age (10 to 16 years old).”
From there, participants would be directed to areas of the building appropriate to age and activity whether it be the swimming pool, gymnasium or fitness area.
“Gradually other programs using funds that the Y's Men donated for other creative activities,” Dunlop said, noting examples include wall climbing along with arts and crafts.
“The Midland Y’s Men’s Club is proud to support the YMCA and the broader community through many projects and activities. All of our funds are donated or spent in the community. We are proud of our achievements and always seeking new members to join our rich history.”