The Rhinelander Kiwanis Club’s Winter Escapes celebrates its 25th anniversary this year on Saturday, March 3, at the Northwoods Banquet Center in Rhinelander. To commemorate this milestone, the raffle grand prize for the annual fundraiser has been boosted from $1,500 up to $2,500. The raffle drawings and casino style gaming start at 6:30 p.m. Only 500 raffle tickets are sold and all 500 tickets are drawn during the course of the evening.
Raffle tickets remain at $35 each and are available from any Kiwanian. The first 75 persons arriving will be entered into a special drawing for door prizes. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
Dave Havel will again be the MC, and you can guarantee that he will make the drawings fun and enjoyable for all. The last ticket drawn will win the grand prize of $2,500 and the next to last ticket selected wins $1,000. In addition, almost half to the raffle ticket holders win cash or merchandize prizes donated by Kiwanis or local businesses. There will be an auction and raffle during intermission, which will include custom made jewelry from Wickersham, a handcrafted ultra light fishing pole and spinning reel, and other great donated items. Silent auction items will also be available, which are guaranteed to offer great bargains on all sorts of unique items.
Winter Escapes updates and raffle item photos can be found at the Kiwanis Club of Rhinelander Facebook page.
Over the 24 year history of Winter Escapes, the Kiwanis Club has raised more than $270,000, which has all gone to support youth and community organizations and projects in the Rhinelander area. Projects funded include the purchase and installation of Pioneer Park playground equipment, the hiking trail at the YMCA and the remodeling of the handicap training kitchen at Headwaters Inc. This year’s major project is the construction of a lighted outdoor basketball court at Central School. About 75 percent of the funds raised are used for youth services, including the YMCA Strong Kids campaign and Hodag Run, scholarships to RHS seniors, the Oneida County Health Departments pre natal programs, Headwater’s Birth to 3 program, Family Resource Connection, many youth sport organizations and many more. The balance has gone to support community organizations like WXPR, the Rhinelander District Library, Rhinelander food pantries, and others.
Free soft drinks, beer and food will be served throughout the evening. Casino style games of chance in which participants can win money and prizes will also be ongoing.
Club members are in the process of soliciting prize donations from local businesses to help support the fundraising effort. Businesses wishing to donate Winter Escape prizes or individuals with questions about purchasing a raffle ticket may call Romelle Vandervest at (715) 362-1630.