The first Rotary Club of Waterville Dine Around Town Raffle was held recently. The goal of the program was to support local restaurants in these challenging times and ultimately, to provide funds to purchase books for the Kennebec Valley Community Action Community Days program, generally held in June.

By any measure, both of those goals were exceeded. With the addition of a Rotary District grant and monies from ticket sales, the Dine Around Town Raffle proceeds will allow for the purchase of more than $3,950 in books through The Children’s Book Cellar. Books purchased through the raffle will be distributed by KVCAP, Educare Central Maine and Waterville Creates!, according to a news release from Rotary Club of Waterville.

Suzanne Walsh, KVCAP CEO said, “KVCAP’s Community Celebration event is a fun, free and enriching experience for families. These books will add an exciting educational element to the event. We are very grateful to the Waterville Noontime Rotary for supporting KVCAP and the families in our community, enhancing the literacy development of young children as well as supporting the Children’s Book Cellar, a valuable local business,” according to the release.

As Rotary Club of Waterville President Jeff Jolicoeur explained at the start of the program, “Two of Rotary’s primary areas of focus are basic literacy and economic development. During this pandemic, children from low-income families and local businesses have been particularly vulnerable. This raffle allowed the Rotary to award prizes to local restaurants, to purchase books from a local business and to get the books into the hands of those most in need,” according to the release.

Jolicoeur added, “Thanks to generous donations from Rotary Club of Waterville members, nearly $1,400 in gift certificates were purchased as prizes for the raffle, all to be used in local restaurants to help support them through these unprecedented circumstances.”

Prize winners for the raffle were drawn on Nov. 30 and included: First prize: $500 collection of gift certificates – Alisha Gillespie; second prize: $250 collection of gift certificates – Linda Titus; five third prizes of a collection of cards valued at $100 – Ted Helberg (two); Johnna Bowen; Tammy Oakes; Buffy Higgins.

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