One year after transforming a traditional fundraiser into new format, the folks at the Sunrise Rotary Club of Lee's Summit were forced to re-invent themselves again.
In 2019, the long-running Empty Bowls fundraiser was turned into a bigger and better gala event titled Feed Lee's Summit benefitting Lee's Summit Social Services, Coldwater of Lee's Summit, Meals on Wheels of Lee's Summit and One Good Meal. But 2020's onslaught of the Coronavirus forced the event committee to make another shift and change the event to a virtual format.
Despite the obstacles in front of them, the Rotarians' efforts paid off, netting $30,000 to be split among the four local beneficiaries. The final tally is just $10,000 shy of the $40,000 raised in 2019.
"We certainly didn't hit our goal, but you've got to feel good about the money raised and what was accomplished in light of the pandemic and other challenges placed before us," said Feed Lee's Summit committee chair Carl Froeschle. "This is the kind of impact on our community we can all feel very good about. What we've found is that all of our challenges become a lot easier to solve because we're in a community that wants to be a part of the solution. Our success here speaks very well for this community."
Instead of the usual silent and live auction activities customary to fundraiser gala's, this year's event was run more in the style of a 1980s telethon and raffle extravaganza hosted by 2019 chair David Fritz and fellow Rotarian Karla Williams. Included among the items raffled off were vacation stays in Arizona and Table Rock Lake; an exclusive tour and experience at the newly renovated Truman Library and Museum and even a private group tour of some of the Kansas City area micro-breweries.
"We really had a strong variety of items that helped drive traffic to this event and give people a great reason to contribute to the cause," Froeschle said.
The event can still be viewed below, or at FeedLS.org, and donations are still being accepted.