The No. 1 Volunteer Fire Department in Lower Burrell, Kinloch is holding its fourth Harley-Davidson motorcycle raffle in less than two years.
Tickets went on sale this week for the public to win a black 2022 Harley-Davidson FLTRX Road Glide Standard. Kinloch caps sales at 1,000 tickets and sells them for $37 a ticket known as a “tip.”
Kinloch offered this raffle and other small games of chance to make up for lost fundraising revenue during the covid-19 pandemic, which shut down in-person events.
“When our fire club and social hall had to close during the pandemic, we looked for ways to fundraise without interacting with people,” he said.
Their first print run last year sold out in four days, said Kinloch department head Ted Hereda.
“We try to look at what people like and give them what they want,” he said.
They want Harleys, especially in the spring when the riding season starts, Hereda added.
Customers also don’t want to pay taxes and expenses or wait to receive their prize, he said.
To make the motorcycle raffle more attractive, the company is donating $1,000 for taxes as well as plates, registrations and other expenses. The price also includes a free maintenance on the bike for its first service appointment.
Fire companies across the state have turned to online gambling during the pandemic to make up for money lost from in-person fundraisers, according to the fire station’s website.
The process remains the same with relaxed pandemic restrictions: Customers purchase “tip” online via a secure website and can watch the drawing – or rather the firefighter scratch the “tip” – to reveal the winning number.
“It’s online and live because that way everyone can see it, so there’s no way to fool it,” he said.
To purchase a ticket, visit the Lower Burrell VFC No. 1 Facebook page. The fire company has not announced a date for the raffle. Whenever all 1,000 tickets are sold, those who purchased a ticket will be alerted via social media when the draw will take place.
The company receives 30% of ticket sales and will win approximately $7,500 in the most recent motorcycle raffle.
“We distribute products at good prices, but we also have to earn money to survive,” he said.
Z&M Harley Davidson Motorcycle of Greensburg is supplying the bike and giving the fire company a nice fundraising discount, Hereda added.
Kinloch will use proceeds from the Harley raffle to pay for a range of fire company expenses, including payments on one of their fire trucks, equipment and matches for grants.