Jeff Clarida Takes the Cash – Rotaryfest Take Your Pick Draw

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Jeff Clarida, purchaser of the winning ROTARYFEST Take Your Pick Draw ticket #2429 picks $85K

“No way!” were Jeff Clarida’s first words after finding out he won this year’s ROTARYFEST Take Your Pick Draw last Saturday night at 9pm. The draw winner is usually called from the ROTARYFEST main stage (if they aren’t present in the audience) in front of thousands of spectators, but this year it was the Rotary office clapping and cheering on the other end of the line. Jeff put his wife Sally on the phone when she wanted to make sure it wasn’t her Uncle Frank pranking them. Thankfully, it was not.

Jeff purchased his ticket while at a Greyhound game from Darlene Aubertin, one of Rotary’s volunteer ticket sellers. Jeff stopped to ask Darlene for tickets as she was packing up after the game, and she rushed back to get her supplies and sold him the last two tickets in her book. Jeff and Sally buy a Take Your Pick ticket every year, and also support draws put on by the Sault Area Hospital, ARCH, and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

By yesterday morning, the Claridas had made the decision to “pick” the $85,000 cash, the largest cash option ever offered as part of the ROTARYFEST Take Your Pick Draw. They’re looking forward to completing some home renovations, taking a trip to California, and retirement.

“We want to say thank you to Rotary, we always support Rotary and we always support Sault Ste. Marie,” shared Sally, “Jeff just retired and I’m getting ready to retire, and this is awesome!”

This is the second large sum of money that Rotary Club President Michael Stone has awarded this year, having already given another lucky winner $40,000 as part of this summer’s ROTARYFEST 50/50 Draw. “It’s an honour and a privilege to represent Rotary tonight and to make someone’s night” said Michael after getting off the phone with Jeff. “We’re so excited to get the money raised by the draw back into the community, to those who need it.”

Numbers are still being crunched, but the Rotary Club anticipates over $100,000 raised for Rotary community and youth projects, such as their support of THRIVE Child Development Centre and Rotary scholarships for local high school students.

From President Michael Stone and all the members of the Rotary Club of Sault Ste. Marie, “Merry Christmas, happy holidays, and stay safe!”