WESTFIELD-A calendar raffle idea first proposed in early 2020 has now come to fruition, sponsored by the Friends of the Westfield Senior Center.
“The Friends group has actually been tossing the idea of a gift certificate calendar around for over a year,” said Kathy Millas, who serves as the group’s secretary and treasurer. “We had one planned for last April before the pandemic hit.”
The fundraiser is titled “Beating the Winter Blahs” and features a gift card or cash giveaway for every day in February.
“The gift cards were supplied by members of the Friends’ executive board and a very special friend of the board, Alan Sudentas,” said Millas.
Millas noted that some cards may have been purchased by members and some may have been donated to a member for the raffle.
“We wanted to highlight businesses we knew the seniors were apt to frequent and we wanted to help those small, local businesses that have been struggling through this pandemic,” said Millas.
Businesses featured on the calendar include CVS, Tavern Restaurant, Stop & Shop, Big Y, Rosewood Home & Gifts, Two Rivers Burrito Co., Blue Umbrella Books, Flowers by Webster, Walgreens, Pilgrim Candle, North Elm Butcher Block, and 7 B’s Bar & Grill. In addition, there are days featuring cash prizes and a COVID care basket consisting of several containers of antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer, a digital thermometer, and a box of disposable face masks.
The cost is $5 for a sheet of 25 tickets so participants have a chance to win more than once during the month. Tickets may be purchased during the weekday curbside meal pickup at the Westfield Senior Center, now through Jan. 29. Persons who would like to purchase tickets but are not getting a lunch should plan to arrive at the senior center between 11:30 and 11:45 when meal pickup is ending and the line moves quickly. Those purchasing tickets are asked to have exact change ready when moving through the line.
“The winning ticket will be drawn each morning and the winner will be notified each afternoon, except on weekends,” said Millas, adding that a Friends board member or Council on Aging staff member will oversee the drawing.
Millas said that funds raised by the Friends group from projects like the calendar raffle assist with a variety of programs for seniors throughout the year.
“Most recently, since the center has been closed for COVID, the Friends group has been paying a stipend to fitness instructors that are offering classes on Westfield’s cable Channel 15 and YouTube,” said Millas. “These are the same instructors that previously conducted classes at the center so the seniors are familiar with their classes.”
Millas said the fitness programming is offered daily and has been “very well received” by the viewers.
“We have also funded entertainment such as Sarah the Fiddler, Noah Lis, and The Keepers,” said Millas.