Hudson, WI May 7, 2018– After an extremely long winter and an almost non-existent spring, one way we know summer is fast approaching is the site of a shiny, red Ford Mustang popping up at parades and storefronts across the St. Croix Valley.  Each year, the Hudson Daybreak Rotary car raffle raises thousands of dollars, which are immediately put right back into the community, a fact underscored by the major milestone the Daybreak Rotary is currently celebrating: during the most recent grant season, the organization passed in $1 million in funds raised and donated. After hitting this major milestone, the club is more energized than ever to use this year’s raffle as the kickoff to raise the next million to put back in the community. 
Members of the Community for the Community
Hudson Daybreak Rotary was founded on July 1st, 1990.  Over the years the Daybreak Club has become a melting pot of leaders in the community with ties to many organizations.  Whether it is members of the school board, St. Croix Valley Foundation, Camp St. Croix, to provide a better community for all, and a better community starts with happy, healthy children. 
“Every week I am more amazed than the week before in seeing what our Club and the greater Hudson community do to make the St. Croix Valley such a great place to live.  Hitting the million-dollar goal is truly a testament to the determination of our members to everything possible to make life better for children across the region,” said Amy Schneider, Hudson Daybreak Rotary Club President.
Enhancing opportunities for youth has always been at the top of the list for all Rotary members.  This is especially evident when you look at the top three organizations to receive grants from the first $1 million the Rotary raised. The Hudson School District has received over $220,000; YMCA has received over $120,000; and Youth Action Hudson has received over $50,000.  In addition to the many great local causes supported by Daybreak, the organization has aided global projects like Polio Plus, Shelterbox, and Guatemala Clean Stove Project, amongst many others. 
“Every May our club hits another gear as we kick off the Car Raffle. As proud as I am of the club, I am even prouder to be a resident of a community that puts such a large emphasis on helping others.  Without the support from great businesses and community members, we wouldn’t be able to commit thousands of dollars in advance of the raffle each year to such great causes,” said Chris Wood, Car Raffle Team Leader for Hudson Daybreak Rotary.
Car Raffle is a Community Success
Although the Daybreak Club has many successful fundraisers, it is fitting that the Car Raffle is the catalyst to kicking off the Club’s goal of hitting its next million.  Each year the Car Raffle begins in mid-May with the winner be drawn at the Pepperfest Festival in August.  Since the Car Raffle’s beginning in 2005, the program generated over $321,000 for various non-profits in the Hudson Community.  The Car Raffle has become the area’s symbol of summer, and it is nearly impossible to spend the summer in the Hudson Area and not come across the shiny red Ford Mustang. 
What truly makes the Car Raffle so successful is the support from the entire Hudson Community. One of the top goals every year is to identify the recipients of the car raffle funds before we sell our first ticket.   So many local businesses step up and support this great effort to enable the Daybreak Club to commit in advance each year where the money is to be donated.  This year $5,700 has been committed to the Rivercrest Elementary in conjunction with Rivercrest PTO for the outdoor classroom project.  An additional $4,200 has already been committed to the Girls Youth Softball Field Updates.     
Without the partnership with the team at Hudson Ford this great fundraiser would not be possible.  Every May, Connie Schmidt and the entire team at Hudson Ford have the Mustang ready and help promote throughout the entire raffle season.  In addition to helping Daybreak Rotary fund the car, they also loan trucks, so the Club can pull the car in parades throughout the region. 
One of the most frequent areas to find the Mustang is with the Club’s partners and friends at County Market.  Many nights and weekends, the community can visit members of the Daybreak Rotary Club who are outside selling tickets.  The team at County Market goes above and beyond as their staff continually sells tickets at the customer service desk throughout the season even when Rotary members cannot be present outside the store.  Over the years their team has sold thousands of dollars in tickets. 
“At Hudson Ford we are always looking for ways to improve the community. Partnering with the Daybreak Rotary Club over the years is one way in which we can immediately partner with community leaders to make the lives better for children in the region,” said Connie Schmit, Global Controller at Hudson Ford.