Archived Story

Get on board with raffle

Published 11:35am Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Maybe you’ve heard of it, but just in case……

The Great River Raffle, which has the potential to dump a ridiculous amount of cash into Ironton, will happen next summer. If you attended this year’s Rally on the River, you probably noticed a red Chevy Camaro begging for your attention. It is just one of the impressive prizes waiting to be won.

From 1 p.m.-8 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, 2015, somebody will win a prize every five minutes. These are awesome prizes. The grand prize is $50,000. Many other monetary prizes ($25,000, $10,000, $5,000 and multiple $2,500, $1,500, $1,000, and $500) will be given away.

Five $500 prizes will be won in the middle of every hour. And your ticket is always active. If you win, your ticket goes back into the drawing.

Multiple brand new cars and Harley Davidson’s will leave the raffle with new owners, as will vacation packages to Europe, Hawaii, Alaska, Cancun, the Bahamas and several other awesome destinations. Hunting enthusiasts and baseball/football fans will have the chance to win multiple guns as well as Reds, Bengals and Browns season tickets. Campers, boats, ATVs, a Budweiser man cave starter kit, golf clubs, golf carts … its massive.

This raffle is another attempt by the Friends of Ironton to build on its dream of a prosperous downtown Ironton. The Friends have volunteered behind the scenes for 10 years. In that time, the group has managed to restore the Ro-Na Theater and make it a community gathering place.

It also donated the popular water park across the street from the Ro-Na’s back entrance. And, despite the cynical views of locals regarding the Rally on the River (some get angered by the inconvenience created by the three-day influx of traffic and noise), created a yearly economic boom for Ironton.

This raffle will bring a lot of money to Ironton, sans the motorcycles.

Actually, this raffle, which will feature major performing artists, will enhance the ability of the Friends to bring top-notch talent to future rallies … and future GRR raffles. Tickets will be sold throughout the Midwest, but it would be awesome to see people from Ironton buying tickets and winning major prizes.

Tickets for the GRR cost $100. Some locals balk at the cost, which is understandable. But, if you live in Ironton and decide to buy a ticket, you’ve already won. If you don’t take home a single prize, you and your kids will benefit from the money the Friends will have to continue to improve Ironton’s infrastructure.

The all-volunteer Friends’ decade-long track record as a true friend to our community is, without doubt, the greatest thing to ever happen to this city.

I’m fired up about the potential of this raffle to help our community prosper. If you’ve never seen the artist renditions the Friends had created to envision a thriving Ironton, stop in the Ro-Na and check them out. These dreams are mega-impressive.

And they’re very do-able.

All we need is more people with the vision and passion of Friends leader Rick Jansen. I’ve gotten to know him well the past six months. Never have I met someone so determined to make an entire community stronger.

The sad thing is, he’s from Wisconsin. It’s taken a Cheese Head to fire Ironton up.

But he’s certainly done it with me. Buy some tickets, Ironton, and watch this raffle improve our town.

For now, tickets are available only with a few individuals, but area businesses will soon be vendors. In the meantime, you can order online at or contact me at the email address below.

As Ironton aLive Executive Director Jon Ferguson, an integral player on the GRR board, often says, “This is going to be huge.”

It certainly will be, especially if Ironton is willing to get on board.


Billy Bruce is a freelance writer who lives in Pedro. He can be contacted at


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