MADISON — It’s time to make a mad, mad dash to purchase raffle tickets through the Madison Rotary’s Madison Restaurant Raffle. Win and you’ll walk away with some tasty gift certificates to local eateries.

Your purchase will not only help raise money to support local, independent restaurants through the difficult times brought on by COVID 19, but will also help Madison residents through the Madison Rotary Foundation.

So, whether your taste buds crave The Wharf Restaurant New England Baked Scrod made with breadcrumbs, lemon and white wine, paired with herbed jasmine rice and asparagus; a Madison Coffee House bagel with lox, cream cheese, thinly sliced red onion and capers, paired with an Ethiopian dark roast coffee; Pho Madison, Bahn Xeo, a crepe of white rice, turmeric and coconut milk folded around tofu, bean sprouts, and onion or Amato’s Pizza & Pasta, special pizza with sausage, pepperoni, bacon mushrooms, peppers and onion – you won’t want to miss out.

“We’re buying roughly $5,000 worth of gift certificates from all 34 restaurants in Madison,” said Rotary President Scott Beckwith.

“The grand prize is $100 gift certificate to each of the 34 restaurants in Madison,” he adds.

Donahue’s Madison Grille has already sold a lot of raffle tickets, according to owner Patrick Donahue. He adds that while he is excited about the whole event, he is especially wowed by the top prize.

“That’s pretty impressive,” he says. “I’m excited about that.”

In addition, second prize is a $50 gift certificate to all 34 restaurants and third prize through tenth prize is $15 to each of the town’s pizza restaurants.

Raffle tickets cost $20 each and are available until Thursday, Oct. 8 at 11:50 a.m. at The drawing will be the same day at 6 p.m.

The profits will stay in Madison and go directly to The Madison Rotary Foundation that will help support, financially, the Madison school system and local food banks, to name a few.

Pho Madison Manager Adam Nguyen says business has been slow and he is enthusiastic about the potential customers the raffle will bring into his Vietnamese restaurant.

“I hope the Madison Raffle helps out just a little bit,” he says.

Donahue has no doubt it will.

“Certainly, by virtue of the fact that they are purchasing that many certificates,” he said. “I think it’s good and I think it brings in people.”

This is exactly what Beckwith is hoping for.

“I’m a lifelong Madison resident and the last thing I want to see is businesses fail in Madison,” says Beckwith. “They’ve really been hard hit and we’re just trying to get people to try to get out there and utilize what makes Madison great.

“This is the first time that I can think of that a civic organization, like Rotary, is not asking – we’re really not asking the restaurants to give us anything,” Beckwith says. “We’re just asking them to participate.”

The fact that the Rotary is taking this project on, without asking for anything from the restaurants, is not lost on Madison Beach Hotel General Manager John Mathers.

He recalls a conversation with The Wharf Restaurant Manager Beth McDevitt about the event.

“I think it’s really cool that they’re supporting local businesses like that,” Mathers says. “I’m very impressed.”

He added, like many other local establishments, The Wharf has suffered financially due to COVID-19.

“It’ll bring people out,” he adds. “Every little bit counts these days towards businesses like ours that are literally struggling to survive and for them to buy these gift certificates is a real show of solidarity with the local restaurant businesses.”

The Madison Rotary Madison Restaurant Raffle,

Connecticut Media Group