Marsh closures mean fundraising struggles for local non-profit

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CARMEL, Ind. - The closures of Marsh grocery stores over the summer are now having consequences that many didn’t expect.

For decades at the former Carmel Marsh and O’Malia’s locations, the Carmel Lions Club would sell annual fish fry raffle tickets, the non-profit’s biggest fundraiser.

“They were great partners with our raffle,” said Tom Lorson, Raffle Chairman of the Carmel Lions Club. “Unfortunately, when they closed, we lost our place to sell a majority of our tickets.”

Without those Marsh locations, donations to the non-profit, and what the organization can put back into the community, are suffering.

“People were familiar at Marsh and O’Malia’s with us being there, so we sold a lot of tickets,” Lorson said. “So going forward again with a hole in the budget we’ve got to make up some ground.”

Lorson says the organization is thankful that White’s Ace Hardware did allow the non-profit to sell tickets there, but the Carmel Lions Club is still down in donations.

“It takes a couple years to build up the traffic and the people coming in and recognizing us from the year before,” Lorson said. “So it’s a lengthy process to get our sales base built up.”

Lorson says the organization gives money raised back to the Carmel community. For example, it provides free eye exams and glasses to those who can’t afford it; passes out dictionaries to Carmel third graders; and donates to cancer research and food pantries.

“We’re just trying to get the word out that we need support from the Carmel community,” Lorson said.

If the public would like to help, upcoming fundraisers include:

-Selling breakfast at the Carmel Farmer’s Market (through September)
-Fall pancake breakfast, (October 28)
-Holiday fruit sale (December 8-9)

For more information on the Carmel Lions Club, including upcoming events and fundraisers, click here.