Hudson Rotary car raffle

Mayor Rich O’Connor purchasing the first ticket of the 2021 Rotary Car Raffle. From left are Al Wilkie (Daybreak Rotary), O’Connor, and Dick Whitcomb (Daybreak Rotary).

After a year of cancelling their major fundraisers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hudson Daybreak Rotary is bringing back their largest fundraiser for the summer of 2021. Daybreak Rotary will be kicking off their Car Raffle Memorial Day weekend with the final drawing being on Labor Day. Being Daybreak Rotary’s largest fundraiser, it allows the club to immediately put thousands of dollars back into youth programs in the greater Hudson Community.

“In dealing with the pandemic this last year, I am reminded why Hudson is such a great community. Even with the challenges presented throughout the pandemic, the Hudson community was as generous as any community across the country. I couldn’t have been prouder to lead our club who found a way to meet weekly while striving to make our community an even better place to live,” said Ruth Petermann, Hudson Daybreak Rotary Club President.

Car Raffle is a Community Success

Although the Daybreak Club has many successful fundraisers, it is fitting that the Car Raffle is the catalyst to kicking off the Club’s goal of heading back towards a feeling of normalcy. Each year the Car Raffle begins in May with the winner be drawn around Labor Day. Since the Car Raffle’s beginning in 2005, the program generated over $350,000 for various non-profits in the Hudson Community. The Car Raffle has become the area’s symbol of summer, and it is nearly impossible to spend the summer in the Hudson Area and not come across the shiny red Ford Mustang.

What truly makes the Car Raffle so successful is the support from the entire Hudson Community. So many local businesses step up and support this great effort to enable the Daybreak Club to commit in advance each year where the money is to be donated. Due to the continued community support, Daybreak Rotary commits thousands of dollars each year to youth programs and scholarships.

“Hudson’s Rotary Clubs have always led by example. It is difficult to walk through Hudson and not find a place or person that has not seen our community improved by our Rotary Clubs. I am honored to buy the first ticket of this year’s Car Raffle and can’t wait to see the good that comes from this great community fundraiser,” said Rich O’Connor, Hudson Mayor.

Without the partnership with the team at Hudson Ford this great fundraiser would not be possible. Every May, the entire team at Hudson Ford have the Mustang ready and help promote throughout the entire raffle season. In addition to helping Daybreak Rotary fund the car, they also loan trucks, so the Club can pull the car in parades throughout the region.

One of the most frequent areas to find the Mustang is with the Club’s partners and friends at County Market. Many nights and weekends, the community can visit members of the Daybreak Rotary Club who are outside selling tickets. The team at County Market goes above and beyond as their staff continually sells tickets at the customer service desk throughout the season even when Rotary members cannot be present outside the store. Over the years their team has sold thousands of dollars in tickets.

“Seeing the car raffle return, brings a great deal of excitement in seeing our lives head back towards a level of normalcy. I am extremely proud of our Club and Community Partners in leading the way to aid youth in our community,” said Butch Schultz, Rotary Car Raffle Team Leader.

Hudson Daybreak Rotary is a diverse group of community members who strive to make a positive impact on the greater Hudson community, especially enhancing opportunities for youth in the community. Daybreak Rotary has donated over $1,000,000 back into the greater Hudson Community Daybreak Rotary meets on Wednesdays from 7-8:15 a.m. at Camp St. Croix, Hudson, Wisconsin. Guests and prospective Rotarians are welcome to attend meetings and events. By getting to know more community members and broadening Rotary awareness, we can have a bigger impact. To get your tickets please contact the Daybreak Rotary Ticket Manager, Al Wilkie, at 651-238-1253.

If you would like more information on Hudson Daybreak Rotary, please contact Butch Schultz at 612-760-3027 or email at

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