By Jennie Acklin and Amy DeTine

The first annual Ham & Turkey Raffle event was held on Sunday, June 4, 2017 at the Ellicottville American Legion on Maples Road.

Inspired by Matt McAndrew from his own work on a separate raffle organized by Holy Name of Mary’s Usher Club, the EVGV Trail committee decided to host their own event.  They teamed up with the volunteer group that oversees the care of the Nannen Arboretum, offering to donate  25 percent of the net profit on the raffle and event to them.

The event consisted of pre-sale tickets for $20, and included a ham and turkey raffle with additional ticket sales, a 50/50 raffle, and numerous door prizes solicited and donated by the Arboretum volunteers.

The committee and Arboretum volunteers sold a large percentage of the raffle tickets right out of the gate, and a large number were also sold on the day of the event. An abundance of door prizes and raffle items were solicited and donated by the Nannen Arboretum Society Committee and volunteers.  Cheri Reed, Pat Kerl, Nan Miller, Maggie Smith, Sue Blesy, Charlie Jaremko, Paul Kingston, Penny Lipps, Linda and Jeff Davis showed up in force to help at the event.

With help from Dale Dunkleman of the American Legion, (who donated the Legion hall, soft drinks, water, and serving supplies) Butch Pearl volunteered his experience and sense of humor to MC the event. Jim Dunkleman delivered and provided the hams and steaks at cost.

Ushers from Holy Name of Mary volunteered their Sunday to help organize and run the actual event – a huge shout out to Matt McAndrew, Paul Timkey, Bob O’Brien, and Norbert Schmidt.

Although the turnout was light, the people that attended were all in! They participated faithfully in each spin of the wheel, and many groups needed help loading up the “booty” at the end of the day. The event was a great success for the first time out of the gate, and all involved agreed that it can be much bigger and more successful next year.

Thank you to our community for supporting the Trail!