Rotary club calls time on running trailer raffle


The happy occasion of handing over funds raised for the Otago Community Hospice through the annual Christmas trailer raffle was tinged with sadness for members of Dunedin North Rotary Club this week.
After 23 years of running the raffle, raising an impressive total of $516,000 for the hospice, the club has reluctantly decided to step aside from the project.
Last year’s raffle was successful, raising $26,500 for the hospice. Residual project funds were added, bringing the total donated this week to $33,749.
The annual raffle’s prize is a trailer loaded with goods.
Dwindling numbers have made it challenging to find the personnel to cover the trailer raffle sites across Dunedin during November and December each year.
Trailer raffle convener for the past six years David Good-child said the project had been enjoyable for club members and they would miss it.
The club was hoping a fellow service club or organisation would pick up the concept and continue to run the popular raffles in future.
“Sadly, we will no longer be involved as a club, but I know that many of us will be happy to be involved if another group takes it on,” Mr Goodchild said.
“We have a lot of knowledge to share that we have gained over the years.
“A lot of volunteers have contributed a lot of hours to this project for a very good cause.”
Long-standing volunteer Ian Bartlett (89) is not a Rotarian, but has been involved in the trailer raffle for 11 years, spending 400 hours on it and selling 4850 books of tickets.
“It has always been a great thing to be involved in,” Mr Bartlett said.
Otago Community Hospice chief executive Ginny Green said the support from Dunedin North Rotary had been “dear to my heart” during her 10 years in the role.
The two organisations had had an important and close relationship, she said.
“We are really sad that this is the last time Dunedin North Rotary Club will run the raffle _ they are a terrific bunch,” Ms Green said.
The 23-year commitment had been an “impressive effort” and the trailer raffle had been a fixture of Christmastime in Dunedin.
“People look out for it and expect it every year,” she said.
Hospice retail manager Lyn Chapman, who has had a 13-year association with Dunedin North Rotary, paid tribute to its professionalism in running the trailer raffle.
“They have always done a fabulous job, and it is sad to think they won’t be continuing,” she said.
The hospice receives 68% of its funding directly from the Government, and raises the remaining $2million a year from the community.
Patient numbers have doubled in the past 10 years, with two-thirds of patients being treated in the community.