Rotary’s Girls Night Out: Home-bound Edition

By John Swartz

Many women used to look forward to the annual Rotary Club of Orillia’s Girls Night Out.

“One of the biggest things was the fellowship, seeing the same people year after year,” said the one of the club’s public image committee members, Toyin Crandell.

It’s usually in the fall. Last year they had a bit of a problem, as every other community group did, and the event was cancelled.

“We were thinking about how can we restructure and still maintain that fellowship,” said Crandell. Like many other groups, they went online, so April 5th will be Girls Night In.

“What we are planning on doing, we have these tickets, there’s still the same sort of a draw, $20 for a ticket. We’re going to be doing a live draw on April 5th at 2 p.m. Fifty percent of the funds goes to Soldiers’ Memorial (Hospital women’s services) and the rest of it goes to the Rotary club.”

There are only 740 tickets available until March 31, and Crandell said more than 200 have already been sold. The goal is to donate $5,000 to Soldiers’ and the rest will go toward Rotary’s other community projects.

Part of the fun each year is having a chance to win a prize. The top prize is $500, we’ll get to second, 3rd is a half day at Cavana Ridge Spa, 4th is a gourmet dinner for two from CiaoChowCiao – delivered of course, and the grand prize is cocktails for a year.

This requires some explanation.

Toyin Crandell
Rotary Club of Orillia member Toyin Crandell.

“They get sent cocktails. I don’t actually know what company sponsored that one,” said Crandell. Let’s hope they come in a sippy cup so the driver doesn’t spill any while driving to the winner’s home, or office.

It turns out the prize is actually $1,560 in gift cards, which assumes $30 weekly for a cocktail. The 2nd place draw is for cocktails once a month, and 5th for cocktails every quarter. Draws take place live April 5 at 2 p.m. on Rotary’s Facebook page.

“April 5th at 5, we’re going to virtually invite all the women who bought tickets into a Zoom. People can have cocktails in their own home,’ said Crandell.

The other big change with the event (chaired by Marilyn Hanson) this year is Rotary’s male members help out by being designated drivers – they won’t be needed this year, which might be a good thing because most of them will probably want to tune into the Maple Leafs at Edmonton (who knows, the Leafs may still be atop the standings).

Girls Night In is just one of the many projects the Rotary Club of Orillia undertakes each year and one of the long term projects it has participated in with Rotary International is eradicating polio. Proving vaccinations work, last August the continent of Africa was declared polio free, and only Afghanistan and Pakistan still remain as countries to wipe out the disease, which is hampered because of war and religious opposition.

Another local project the club was involved in was partnering with the Rotary district to buy 6 recliner chairs for Mariposa House Hospice, and club members built a Murphy bed for the facility.

(Photos Submitted) Main: Rotary Club of Orillia members Marilyn Hanson, Toyin Crandell and club president Laura Downing.


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