Following several weeks of fundraising, a large donation was made to the Orono School District by the Red Rooster and the Northwest Tonka Lions Club. Specifically donated to the Orono Middle School Special Needs Fund, designed for outstanding financial needs in the school community, the check totaled $6,757.79.
It’s the second donation the Red Rooster and Northwest Tonka Lions have made, having contributed some $4,000 to the fund last year.
“Somebody from the school came and spoke to our club about the program,” explained Robin O’Conner, Lions gambling manager. “We adopted it as a good cause.”
According to OMS, the fund ensures that every student at the school has access to school supplies and equipment. It can also help cover costs for instrument and book rentals, technological devices, field trip and year book fees and even clothes and eye glasses or contacts.
For the last two years, a large share of the donation has been raised at the Red Rooster in Long Lake during Vikings’ games. In a similar fashion to a meat raffle, chances to win a Red Rooster gift card (provided at half price for the effort) were sold for a dollar apiece to the patrons that flock to the restaurant during the games.
“We have huge crowds here during football games,” said Dave Lundberg, owner of the Red Rooster. “It was a good time to do this. We raised a lot of money.”
According to Lundberg, these efforts across 17 Vikings games raised approximately $4,000. The remaining sum was donated by the Lions out of their general fund. Lundberg expressed his appreciation for the customers who bought raffle tickets.
“Our customers, they ultimately bought all the tickets and made it possible, said Lundberg.
In addition to the customers who bought the raffle tickets, O’Conner expressed her appreciation particularly of Troy Tasche and Mike O’Conner, the two Lions most instrumental in selling the tickets during each game.
“They weren’t on payroll,” noted O’Conner.
Lundberg said that, in addition to the good that money will do, the whole experience was great for everyone involved.
“We thought it would be a lot of fun,” said Lundberg. “The customers enjoy it, I, certainly, am happy to do it, the Northwest Tonka Lions are happy to do it.”
Added Lundberg, “It’s just a good thing…Who doesn’t love kids?”