The COVID-19 crisis is affecting life in many ways, including how non-profit groups fundraise.
For the Ponoka 4-H Beef clubs, selling tickets for the annual Charity Steer raffle this year has been more than an uphill battle.
“It has been more difficult to sell tickets this year because we have not been allowed to go out and solicit people,” said Samantha Yadlos with the club.
“4-H has directed all clubs to avoid all types of social events, not just gatherings.”
Yadlos added that previously, many local businesses have sold tickets for them, but that has been limited this year. So, it has meant changing how things are done.
“Some of these businesses are closed, some have reduced numbers of customers, which limits the number of potentially bought tickets, and others have changed their procedures and don’t even allow customers into their place of business, again limiting the number of people that would potentially buy a ticket,” she said.
“Our district members have had to rely on social media to try to sell tickets. Many members have advertised on their Facebook pages that tickets are available. They are accepting e-transfers for payment and follow through with a picture of the ticket stubs.”
The club has also had to do away with their annual awards this year, as there will only be an online sale instead of the usual combined district show and sale. The online version is set for May 11 at 4 p.m. through VJV Auction Market.
“Because the members will not be able to compete in judging, showmanship and grooming categories, we are not needing sponsorship for these awards,” she said, adding those requests were made before things changed.
“We have sent a letter to our amazing sponsors and explained that although we do not need their support for the awards, if they would still like to support 4-H, they can do so by either buying a steer or contributing the money they typically sponsor towards charity steer raffle tickets.”
As for this year’s charity that funds from the raffle will support, the unanimous choice was the Do More Ag Foundation — an organization that provides mental health research and support for agricultural producers.
“When you reflect on how difficult last year was for farmers with the uncooperative weather and many farmers unable to finish combining, providing support for those farmers in need was our top priority,” she said.
“We just hope that we can sell enough tickets to make a difference.”
There are many tickets still available at $5 each for the May 5 draw for the finished steer which can be purchased through any member or by contacting Yadlos at 403-318-1774.
To learn more about their chosen charity, head to www.domoreag.com.