The Penobscot Times

Rotary Club to hold 70th annual Hunters Breakfast despite pandemic

OLD TOWN, Maine — The Old Town Rotary Club will be putting on its 70th annual Hunters Breakfast despite initial concerns about whether it could happen this year amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

“We kept going back and forth,” Rotary President Keri Denis said. But after many discussions and considering possibly having to cancel this year, the club came up with an alternative solution: a drive-thru breakfast. 

Denis said the club had heard that a group hosted a drive-thru style breakfast in some part of Northern Maine during the pandemic by handing out just cider and doughnuts. “We thought, ‘well maybe we can make this work.’” 

The Hunters Breakfast will be from 6 to 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 31. It will be held at the Old Town Elks Club building at 37 Fourth St. instead of at Riverfront Park this year. 

Rotarians will give out either a ham and cheese breakfast sandwich or a doughnut to go with a choice of coffee or hot chocolate. The food will be prepared outside in the parking lot and people can pick up their breakfast without leaving their vehicles. 

She said the club is “very excited that we’re able to put this on for the community,” despite not being able to host the traditional sit-down style breakfast for hunters before they head out to the woods. 

“The hunters and the community can still be fed and we can continue to say that our rotary club has the longest running outdoor community breakfast on this side of the Mississippi,” Denis said. 

The club had worried about the fate of their top fundraising events — a golf tournament and the Hunters Breakfast — after having to cancel their annual auction in May, she said. The auction is the Rotary Club’s biggest fundraiser of the year, with the breakfast and the golf tournament tied for second. 

The breakfast alone brings in an average of $4,500 to $6,500 a year, Denis said. 

Once the club heard that the Hidden Meadows golf course was safely hosting golf tournaments during the pandemic, they realized they could avoid canceling the Hunters Breakfast, too. 

“We’re all very excited,” Denis said on behalf of the rotarians. 

Club members will be coordinating traffic in the parking lot during the breakfast and raffle off a gift certificate to the Old Town Trading Post and an Old Town Vapor Kayak. The Maine Youth Fish and Game will sell raffle tickets, as well.

People can purchase tickets to the breakfast for $5 from any Rotarian or on the day of the event.

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