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  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Goodfellows present 50/50 raffle proceeds: four local food banks received $11,000 each

- raffle winner will use proceeds for down payment on a first home -

by Sylene Argent

Thanks to continued and generous support from the community, members of the Essex Region Goodfellows were able to host another successful fundraising season to support area food banks during the holiday season.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the second year in a row, the Essex Region Goodfellows hosted a 50/50 raffle in lieu of the traditional newspaper campaign.

Due to the success of last year’s raffle, which sold out, the local service club extended the number of tickets available for the 2021 raffle.

As a result, the Essex Area Food Bank, the Essex Salvation Army, and the St. Vincent de Paul Chapters for Harrow and McGregor were each given $11,000 of the proceeds from this year’s 50/50 raffle and fundraisers.

On Thursday evening, members of the Essex Region Goodfellows presented the cheque donations to each of the four local food banks.

“We greatly appreciate the support from the Essex Region Goodfellows,” Major Jim Hann said when receiving the donation. “There were far more people seeking help from the Salvation Army this year than in the past.”

Thanks to fundraising support, Hann said the Essex Salvation Army was able to help all of those individuals with their needs. He credits the support from the community for being able to do so.

Leading up to the holiday season, the Essex Salvation Army hosted its annual Kettle Campaign and Main-In Campaign, hoping to raise $80,000. Those funds assist the individuals and families the Salvation Army looks after for an entire year.

  Because of the generosity of the community, and with the contribution from the Essex Region Goodfellows, the Essex Salvation Army was able to exceed the original fundraising target. Hann suspects around $100,000 was raised.

Lonnie Jones, a Director for the Essex Area food Bank, said the Essex Region Goodfellows’ donation wrapped-up a tremendous year of support for the local food distribution organization. He said there were many contributions from the community, which he did not expect.

  Of those donations the Essex Area Food Bank was able to receive this year, Jones said several came from new donors, which he was happy to see.

He was impressed with the amount the Goodfellows were able to donate. He said the Goodfellows were obviously able to sell many tickets throughout the community, which meant there were many who were willing and able to support the cause.

Looking ahead, Jones expects there will be more demand on the Essex Area Food Bank in six months to a year, but because of the generosity of the community over the past year, he suspects the food bank will be able to handle a rise in need.

The 2021 Essex Region Goodfellows 50/50 raffle winner was Mitch Perron, who took home $11,550.

  “I definitely was not expecting to win,” Perron said after receiving his cheque. He bought his ticket from a co-worker, who is a member of Essex Fire & Rescue, which partners with the Essex Region Goodfellows each year to assist with the fundraiser.

  Perron said he was happy to buy tickets from his co-worker to support the cause. “I forgot I had bought tickets. When I got the phone call, telling me I won, I had to think about it,” he said.

  He will put the funds towards a down payment for his first house.

  To be able to support the cause was amazing. “To find out how much they made, shows the community came together to help out.”


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