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Phone: (608) 356-8333

Chamber board votes to end raffle

By George Althoff
Executive Director

When last year’s annual cash raffle came to a close in November, I fielded multiple comments that the fundraiser – like the annual radio-TV auction of yesteryear – had “run its course.” For many years, the auction was a major fundraiser for the Chamber. But over time, interest in the auction waned, profitability slipped, and the labor-intensive event was laid to rest.
As a replacement, the Chamber launched the cash raffle. The top cash prize that first year was $10,000 (and Jean Sandmire was pleased to see her ticket pulled!). After several years the raffle, too, has reached the end of the line. Profitability in the last few years has dropped. The pool of volunteer ticket sellers has receded. Like the auction, the raffle is very labor intensive. Based on multiple factors, the Chamber board voted unanimously at its April meeting to retire the raffle. To compensate for the modest loss in revenue, we intend to more heavily promote the 2nd annual Oktoberfest and make it more profitable. Oktoberfest is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 23 at Circus World (mark your calendars).
With input from the Finance and Fundraising Committee, we will explore new potential fundraisers to consider for next year. If you have any ideas you would like to share, please send them my way.

Committee purpose statements revised
Back in 2021, the Chamber board created an ad hoc committee to promote equity, diversity and inclusion efforts within the Chamber and among our members. Comprised of Chamber staff, board members and community members, that committee made some enlightened suggestions for the Chamber to consider.
As a result of those efforts, the Chamber board at its April meeting approved revisions to the purpose statements of the organization’s four standing committees. Below are the former and newly approved purpose statements. As always, feedback on board actions is desired. You can reach me at or 608-356-8333.

Government Relations/Economic Development
Former – Works to encourage and engage open communication and collaboration between the BACC and local governments and economic development entities.

Newly approved – Works to foster open communication and collaboration among the BACC and local units of government and economic development entities in a way that supports development and equity in the Baraboo area.

Former – Works to strengthen BACC membership. Works with the Ambassador group most closely.
Newly approved – Works to grow, strengthen, and increase the diversity of the BACC membership through ongoing recruitment and retention efforts. Works closely with the Ambassadors group to promote the benefits of BACC membership to active and prospective members.

Former – Reviews and evaluates the BACC revenue portfolio. Determines short-term and long-term fundraising goals for the organization.
Newly approved – Reviews and evaluates the BACC budget and revenue portfolio. Provides financial oversite and recommendations to the BACC board. Determines short-term and long-term fundraising goals for the organization.

Former – Works with marketing for the area as it relates to tourism and addresses how to bring more visitors to the area.
Newly approved – Works with BACC staff and other entities to increase tourism by promoting the Baraboo area and our members. Strives to ensure that BACC events and tourism messaging are diverse and inclusive.

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