Story submitted by Wendy Pope - Publicity Officer, Yarram Rotary Club
 
The Rotary Club of Yarram has come up with a novel way to continue fund-raising in these times of social distancing – a non-contact raffle ticket sales robot, ‘Raffi the Rotarian’.
 
Members, from the comfort of their own homes, staff the robot, asking passers-by whether they would like to purchase a Raffle ticket.  The purchaser pays and provides the Rotarian with their name and contact details.  The Rotarian then writes their ticket stub, shows them their ticket number, and asks the person to check the contact details. The purchaser is also asked if they wish to record the ticket number or photograph it.  The Rotarian sees live video of the money slot, change-tray, and customer.  If the change-tray is running down, the operator asks the customer to put their coins in the tray rather than the slot. The bulk of the money is in the non-accessible cash-bin.
 
At the first outing of Raffi, ten Rotarians in one-hour time slots over two consecutive days spoke remotely to customers of the Yarram Bakery Cafe.  We are extremely grateful to the bakery for allowing us to place Raffi in their cafe area where the tables and chairs had been removed due to the COVID restrictions.  The prize was a trailer load of firewood, timely in the wintry conditions.  When it was counting time, as well as healthy ticket sale proceeds, we also found to our amazement, a $2000 cheque in the money bin which had been put in the slot by an extremely generous donor!