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FEC raffle supports local food banks

| September 21, 2022 1:00 AM

Representatives from the Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, West Shore, Libby, and Veterans food banks gathered at Flathead Electric Cooperative on Friday, Sept. 9, to celebrate the results of this year’s Ribeye Raffle.

Organized by the co-op to support local food banks, the 2022 Ribeye Raffle raised $22,725 in cash and approximately 1,000 pounds of meat for donation to the seven food banks.

As part of its commitment to the community members who own the cooperative, Flathead Electric purchases beef, lamb, and hogs each year during the 4-H and FFA (Future Farmers of America) Market Sale at the Northwest Montana Fair. Most of the meat goes to the food banks, except for the prime steak cuts, which are raffled off. This year, the co-op purchased beef from Clara Giffin and Tristen Cheff; lambs from Cadance Jones and Wyatt Bernier; and hogs from Dylan Benson and Bentley Braaten.

Raffle winners were announced on Aug. 23. Dana Brown and Susan Gudmunson, both of Columbia Falls, each received approximately 60 one-inch-thick premium Montana t-bone and ribeye steaks, valued at well over $500.

Will Tutvedt, the Co-op’s Community Outreach Specialist and Ribeye Raffle organizer, is thrilled with the results of this year’s raffle, and shared, “It’s just incredible – when we first started Ribeye Raffle, we raised about $1,000 each year. The pandemic shut down forced us to take our sales online, and that turned out to be the best thing that could’ve happened to the Ribeye Raffle. Ticket sales increased to over $10,000 the first year they were online and broke $20,000 for the first time this year. Our members are so generous, and as a cooperative, we’re happy to be able to organize this effort and give to our community food banks in such a meaningful way.”

Over the last seven years, Ribeye Raffle has raised $52,386 in cash and donated approximately 6,000 pounds of meat to the Kalispell, Columbia Falls, Whitefish, Bigfork, Lakeside, Libby, and Veterans food banks. Ticket sales are closed for 2022 but will be available in Summer 2023 for purchase online, at the co-op’s Libby and Kalispell offices, and at the co-op’s booth at the Northwest Montana Fair.

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