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Celebrate 30 Years of Community Support: Announcing the 2023 Trip of the Month Raffle

The Choteau Lions’ “Trip of the Month” raffle, an exciting vacation giveaway, has been the lifeblood of the Choteau swimming pool for nearly three decades. As we step into its 30th anniversary, we reflect on how this fundraiser has kept our beloved community pool afloat.

Originally, this brilliant idea was borrowed from a Canadian Lions Club in 1993, when our own Choteau Lions Club was teetering on the brink of financial collapse. The continuation of our cherished local pool seemed bleak, with no fresh source of income in sight. Our only hope lay in the promise of this “Trip of the Month” raffle or an unexpected miracle.

The decision to proceed was not an easy one. Many of our Club members had concerns about the community’s support, especially given the pool’s deteriorating condition and the escalating cost of annual repairs. There was an air of uncertainty around the future of our community pool. Yet, deciding to “Do or Die Trying,” we plunged headlong into the Trip of the Month raffle, issuing a maximum of 300 tickets.

With a combination of relentless determination and a well-pitched sales effort, our members went door to door. Within a span of four months, every single ticket was sold, a testament to the community’s unwavering support for the pool, a support that continues to this day.

As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Trip of the Month raffle, we’re thrilled to announce the launch of the 2023 edition of this cherished tradition. We’ve made it more convenient for you to join in on the excitement by providing two ways to purchase your ticket. You can get your ticket online, right here for a seamless digital purchase experience.

Alternatively, if you prefer the traditional method, you can purchase your ticket with cash or check directly from the Choteau Lions Club (checks can be mailed to the Choteau Lions Club at PO Box 633 Choteau, MT 59422-0617). Join us as we continue to support the heart of our community, our Choteau pool, and get a chance to win some incredible prizes. We’re grateful for your continued support and look forward to another successful year of the Trip of the Month raffle!

Now, 30 years later, the Lions Club, through its annual fundraising efforts and countless hours of volunteer time, keeps providing safe and enjoyable summer swimming opportunities. Many rural communities in Montana are grappling with the challenge of keeping their pools operational. Several have had to shutter due to high operating and staffing costs. Our Choteau pool, while vital for recreation and swim lessons, isn’t a profitable venture. Revenue from the pool doesn’t offset the costs of operations, lifeguard wages, and maintenance.

Without the Lions Club’s ongoing support and its fundraising projects, including the Trip of the Month raffle, the City of Choteau wouldn’t be able to maintain full pool operations. Remarkably, our pool is the last public pool in Montana supported and operated by a civic organization.

As Lions Club members, we hope you revel in the chance to win an incredible vacation or cash prize. Even if you don’t win, we hope you appreciate the value your contribution brings to our community. By purchasing a ticket, you’re already a “winner.” Your support in maintaining Choteau as a fantastic place to live and visit is invaluable and deeply appreciated.

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29th Annual Choteau Lions Pool Vacation Giveaway Project Begins

The 2022 swim season marks the 10th season for the new Choteau community pool since its completion and opening in 2013. The Choteau pool is unique. The pool is owned and partially funded by the city but it has been managed and financially supported by the Choteau Lions Club since the original pool was built in 1934. Annual fund-raising projects and hundreds of volunteer hours are needed each year. Most rural communities in Montana struggle to keep their pools open and some have even had to close. A pool is an important asset for the community providing recreational swimming, swim lessons, and a competitive swim team. However, a community swimming pool is not a profitable business. Pool revenue does not come close to covering the cost of operation, lifeguard wages, and pool maintenance. The Choteau pool could not stay open without the support of the Lions Club volunteers and continued community supported fund-raising projects.

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