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Rotary clubs raising money through fun
Many causes benefit
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Forsyth County News


* Tickets to the Rotary Club of South Forsyth’s Monte Carlo Night are $75 each and include playing money, two drink tickets and a buffet. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. March 19 at the Polo Golf Club. For more information, call (404) 630-6829.

* The Sporting Clays Fun Shoot will begin at 10 a.m. March 26. Sign-in begins at 9 a.m. The cost is $75 to shoot. Participants can bring their own gun, 100 shells, and eye and ear protection, or all equipment can be rented or purchased from the facility. For more information, call (770) 312-8709.

* To purchase raffle tickets from the Rotary Club of Forsyth County, e-mail

Spring is about to begin. And for Rotarians, that means fundraisers.

First up is the Rotary Club of South Forsyth’s Monte Carlo Night, which is set for March 19 at the Polo Golf Club.

“It’s been so successful over the history of the event,” said club president Kevin McDonough. “We’ve raised several hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The past few years, the club has raised nearly $40,000.

But McDonough hopes the economy will pick up to 2007 levels, when the club “actually cracked the $60,000 barrier for net proceeds.”

“Last year maybe it was a little better than the year before, so we’re starting that upward trajectory again,” he said.

The money raised from the club’s fundraiser goes toward major youth programs such as the Miracle League of Forsyth County and the Bald Ridge Boys Lodge.

It also benefits other projects the club supports, including Habitat for Humanity, Mentor Me North Georgia and college scholarships.

The club has held Monte Carlo night for nearly 20 years. But for the Rotary Club of Lanier Forsyth, February’s gamble on a Texas Hold’em fundraising tournament paid off.

"It was awesome. It was our first one ... and we ended up with almost 100 players and we had about 60 people watching,” said Missy Bushong, club president.

“It was way better than any of us expected, and everybody had so much fun they can’t wait for the next one.”

The poker event was held Feb. 11 and raised nearly $14,000. It’s going to be the wave of the fundraising future for the club, Bushong said.

The Rotary Club of Johns Creek has found a winning event and sticks with it.

Organizer Mark Litt said this year’s La Dolce Vita, which was held last Saturday, was going to be the best.

“This year we went out and spent a lot more money and got an incredible band called Glow,” he said leading up to the event. “Every year we keep adding better raffles and silent auction items.

"The food is very, very good and I think the ticket price is excellent for what you get.”

On average, the event raises between $12,000 and $15,000.

La Dolce Vita, Italian for the sweet life, included an Italian buffet, wine, silent auction, raffle and reception.

“I just think it’s a great way to have fun and enjoy,” Litt said.

The annual Sporting Clays Fun Shoot has been a huge success for the North Forsyth 400 Rotary Club, said Scott Mason, event organizer.

“This is the fifth one we’ve done,” he said. “This year we’re trying to get 100 shooters.

“I think that it’s just something that’s different from the normal golf outings and it just captures a different sect of people.”

The shoot is slated for March 26 at the Etowah Valley Sporting Clays Park in Dawsonville.

There will be a raffle for a Benelli shotgun and prizes for various events.

“All shooters have a chance of placing regardless of skill level,” Mason said. “It’s kind of like a handicap in golf ... we give prizes for high overall and first and second in each class.”

The Rotary Club of Forsyth County is just starting to gear up for its spring fundraiser in late April.

The club keeps it simple with a raffle. At $25 a ticket, though, there are big prizes, including vacation homes and free services provided by members.

Shan Mize, club president, said the raffle covers the club’s general service, which includes scholarships for rising high school seniors facing challenges.

It also helps local nonprofits such as the United Way and Abba House.

The raffle drawing will be at the end of April, and tickets will likely be on sale for about a month prior to the drawing, Mize said.