PRESQUE ISLE — The Presque Isle Rotary Club is celebrating several milestones in 2023. Not only will they be celebrating their 100th anniversary in April, they are also celebrating the 75th year of the Presque Isle Rotary Auction. The club’s signature fundraising event has raised millions of dollars since 1948 and has taken on many forms: radio, television, online, in person silent auction, and the most recent Great Big Give Back raffle event that was a response to the global pandemic. The longevity of this event is credited to the overwhelming support received over the last three quarters of a decade from local businesses, organizations and community members.

The club is excited to be in the planning stages for this year’s Great Big Give Back Event and is pleased to announce the proceeds recipients for the funds raised by the event. In addition to raising funds for the Presque Isle Rotary Scholarship, the club will be supporting projects in three of the local communities that they serve. The first is to provide general financial support to the new Easton Prestile Community Park which will include a playground and a new recreation pavilion that will provide a covered gathering space with picnic tables and grills. The facility will include a kitchenette and handicap accessible bathrooms. The park will fulfill the town’s need for a place for residents, as well as residents of neighboring communities, to bring their families. It will also support the towns desire to expand upon their existing recreational opportunities.

The club will also provide support to the Mapleton Fire Department to purchase a new thermal imaging camera. The Mapleton Fire Department provides aid to the towns of Mapleton, Castle Hill, Chapman, Scopan Lake, and additional supporting aid to the Ashland and Washburn Fire Departments, serving nearly 6,500 residents in total. The new thermal imaging camera enables firefighters to fully interpret a fire scene or accident and make more informed tactical decisions. The camera system has the ability to determine the hottest part of the fire scene, it can pinpoint the source of a gas leak, monitor temperature of chemicals during fire suppression and assist in the search of finding missing persons.

Presque Isle Youth Hockey will also receive support from the auction to purchase new equipment kits that are available to players at no cost. Equipment kits include a helmet, chest protector, elbow pads, gloves, pants and shin guards. The upfront cost of this equipment sometimes prevents children from participating in this sport. This new equipment will alleviate the cost barrier for families wanting to participate in the program while helping players stay safe.

In addition to the proceed recipients, the club is thrilled to announce that they are bringing back the “Special Project” auction component. Historically, the Special Project included direct fundraising assistance to larger community projects such as The Aroostook House of Comfort, County Dialysis Center, the Sargent Family Community Center and many more. To help commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Presque Isle Rotary Club, the club will be supporting an effort to construct the new Presque Isle Rotary Amphitheater. The amphitheater, complete with an elevated stage, is planned to be constructed in the heart of the downtown Riverside recreational area. Over the last decade, some truly amazing events have occurred in the downtown area and the club would like to support those events further as well as provide opportunities for growth. More details to come about this exciting community project in the coming months.

The club plans to raise the funds to support the proceed recipients during the 2023 Great Big Give Back, which will feature a raffle of eight baskets, each filled with merchandise donated by local merchants, valued at approximately $1,250 each. They will also host a small online auction where larger ticket items will be put up for bid. Ticket sales for the event will begin mid-February and the final raffle drawing will occur at the clubs 100th anniversary event scheduled for April 25. For more information on how to get involved, visit