BRANFORD — The Branford Rotary today launched the largest and most implausible raffle in town history: BRAFFLE – The Outrageous Restaurant Raffle. How outrageous? The Grand Prize winner will get $100 gift cards to each of 34 – yes, 34 – Branford restaurants. Second Prize wins $50 cards to all 34. And there are eight more prizes.
Tickets, on sale now at Braffle.org, are just $20 apiece. It’s all part of Branford Rotary’s innovative HELP OUT – TAKE OUT program, which has so far has raised more than $35,000 to help Branford restaurants and struggling local families during the pandemic. A partnership with Branford Counseling & Community Services, the program purchases gift cards from local restaurants and distributes them to residents in need, including those who've lost work. With only 2,000 tickets available, Braffle is expected to sell out, said Rotary Club President Tom Laurenson.
“People are excited about Braffle, partly because it’s a new experience, partly because it’s such a good cause, but chiefly, it’s that wonderful, incredible, edible big prize,” said Laurenson. “Thirty-four restaurants? That’s just outrageous.”
The raffle drawing will be held at 6 p.m. on Aug. 26 at Branford’s Owenego Inn, and First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove will pull the winning numbers. In addition to the Grand and Second prizes, Braffle also has 3rd-10th prizes: a $100 gift card winners can use at the restaurant of their choice. And the gift cards do not expire.
The incredible participating restaurants: Pasta Cosi, Dockside, Darbar India, USS Chowder Pot III, Yooki Yama, Tommy Sullivan’s, La Luna, Lenny's, The Stand, Home, Eli's, Le Petit Cafe, Parthenon Diner, LoMonaco's, Mosaico, G-Zen, Rosso Vino, Rossitto's, Genaros, Shoreline Cafe, GW Carson's, Som Siam, Allegra's, Breakfast Connections, Crostini, Cafe Fiore, Donovan's Reef, IL FORNO, Marco’s, Local, Kampai, Jalapeno Heaven, Dragon East, and Siam Orchid.
With 10 prizes and just 2,000 tickets, the odds of holding a winning ticket are 200-to-1. With five tickets, your odds are cut to 40-to-1. But no matter what happens, your entry fee will doing a great deal of good. Branford Rotary’s HELP OUT – TAKE OUT program, which launched in late April, has so far paid for 3,000 meals for local families in need. And that money does double duty, going first through restaurants that are struggling due to necessary restrictions.
Braffle and HELP OUT – TAKE OUT are all part of Branford Rotary’s unprecedented response to the COVID-19 crisis. The Club has provided more than $45,000 in aid during the pandemic, including PPE for Connecticut Hospice, fresh produce for the food pantry, grocery delivery for frontline workers, funding to the homeless, and more.
“We’re out to beat this pandemic by finding ways to help serve our community at a time when it needs help more than ever,” said Laurenson. “We’ve raised more than $45,000 so far, and we ain't done yet.”
— Press release