Rotary raffle winners drawn

The Rotary Club of Keizer’s Go for the Gold Raffle drawing went on as scheduled on Saturday, April 4, though the raffle party had been cancelled.

Les Zaitz was the grand prize winner, the recipient of gold and silver valued at $10,000. The second place winners of $1,200 in cash were Janelle and Brian Lidtke.

The raffle drawing was livestreamed at 9 p.m. on Saturday, April 3, led by club president Jeff Davis and former club president Nathan Bauer. The 1,150 sold tickets were in a rotating drum. At the appointed hour Bauer drew the first ticket for the gold and silver. He placed it ceremoniously face down on the table. Bauer then drew a second ticket for the $1,200 in cash. That ticket was also laid face down.

Zaitz was announced as the winner first, followed by the Lidtke’s win. Zaitz was surprised; his winning ticket had been gifted to him by his brother, Lyndon.

“I was at home on my ranch in eastern Oregon, practicing dramatic social distancing,” said Les Zaitz. “The phone rang—at night, which doesn’t happen often. At first, I didn’t quite grasp the news. This was a total surprise – and a delight at a time life has a lot of challenges right now.”

The grand prize winner said rather than gold and silver he will opt for the equivalent in cash, though he has no immediate plans for the windfall. He said he would look for opportunities to help his family and the Keizer community.

Janelle and Brian Lidtke have buying tickets for the Rotary Club of Keizer’s annual raffle for 17 years. They usually buy two tickets from Janelle’s brother, Jeff Kuhns, but this year the Lidtkes bought three tickets.

Janelle was watching the livestream of the drawing while her husband was napping in another room. “I was very excited,” she said. “My screams woke my husband; I scared him.”

The couple will use their raffle winnings for small projects around the house and also make donations to their favorite causes including Fences for Fido.