Rotary Club shifts from annual fundraiser dinner to take-out event

For 57 contiguous years, the Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant has held its Beef Tenderloin or Turkey Dinner. The annual fundraiser is traditionally one of the biggest of the year for the community service organization, which itself is in the midst of another impressive number. The Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant was first founded nearly one hundred years ago in May of 1925.

This year marks the 58th annual dinner for the organization. Rather than let the COVID-19 pandemic completely cancel the event, the Rotary Club has opted for a fundraising take-out dinner instead.

“This is one of our biggest fundraisers every year. It’s one of the reasons that we can give $30,000 in grant funding to local organizations,” says Amy Powell, secretary of the Mt. Pleasant Rotary Club.

The organizations that have received grants from the Rotary Club are many, a group that includes the Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, Isabella Community Soup Kitchen, and, perhaps of most recent significance, local COVID-19 relief programs.

Tickets for the dinner cost $25 for each meal and proceeds go toward the club’s fundraising efforts. To-go packages include a choice of beef or turkey dinner with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, coleslaw, roll, and a cookie.

Pick-up options are available from 4:30-6 p.m. or 6-7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 12. The dinners themselves will be handed out through a drive-thru service at the Comfort Inn at 2424 S. Mission Rd.

“We knew that we wanted to continue with the fundraiser regardless of COVID-19. So the committee spent a lot of time figuring out how to do it in a safe way. It’s just not feasible for a dine-in event right now,” says Powell.

“Usually we’d serve 700 to 800 meals. We’re hoping for a good turn-out but we recognize that a big part of these events is the social aspect — getting people together, the live music, and entertainment. So there may be a decline in those numbers. But we want to bring through as many people as we can.”

Tickets for the 58th Annual Beef Tenderloin or Turkey Dinner are available online.

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