With the COVID-19 pandemic throwing a wrench into the Owensboro Goodfellows Club’s fundraising plans, the members of the philanthropic organization will unveil a 50/50 pot during the Reid’s Orchard Apple Festival this weekend.

It is a simple concept. Raffle tickets are sold, and the winner is able to walk away with 50% of the total pot.

Club members hope the raffle will help offset two major fundraisers being canceled this year.

“Typically, we will have a soup day in November, which is a community-wide event, and we typically make about $8,000 at that event,” said Bob Clark, the club’s president. “There is another event put on by the Owensboro Choral Society that we benefit from that usually makes about $5,000 or $6,000.”

When the club decided to start a 50/50 pot, it approached Reid’s Orchard to see if it would allow the club to have a booth at the Apple Festival to sell tickets, and it agreed.

“It doesn’t work without an event,” Clark said.

Clark said the main objective of the club is to raise money to provide clothing and shoes for school children in need.

“(Our spending) mostly occurs at the beginning of the school year, when we have identified the kid and know that they are going to need the clothes and shoes to start school,” he said. “It is not just a physical need, it is a psychological need we are fulfilling there.”

Clark said the Owensboro Goodfellows Club’s 50/50 raffle was inspired by Evansville’s West Side Nut Club, which has had significant success with its 50/50 pot, as it’s grown to more than $1 million annually.

“Who knows in five or 10 years where we are going to be with it,” he said. “We thank our community for supporting our organization. It doesn’t work without a supportive community, and we have always had that here in Owensboro.”

Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. The winner will be drawn at the close of the festival on Sunday.

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