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Coming Together: The Joy of Meat Raffles

Buffalo, N.Y. is a hub for a unique tradition called meat raffles. This concept involves attendees buying tickets for a chance to win various cuts of meat. While it may seem unusual to outsiders, this tradition is popular in the Western New York region, and is often used as a fundraising event.

Many individuals, like Buffalo Native Katie Bilicki and Clarence native Kelsey Simpson, describe their first meat raffle experience as exciting and enjoyable. Simpson notes that the raffles are a great way to support the community. Meanwhile, Bilicki encourages others to attend, emphasizing the affordable buy-in prices and the fun atmosphere.

Behind the scenes, putting on a meat raffle involves significant costs. Co-Founder of Western New York Meat Raffles, Caitlynne Kesty, states that organizers typically spend around $2200-$2500 to accommodate 160-400 people. Despite the initial investment, many organizations end up making a profit, with some events raising $20-30 thousand dollars.

For attendees, the buy-in prices of $2-$3 provide an opportunity to walk away with a substantial amount of meat. Kesty emphasizes that attendees often get more meat than what they paid for, making it a worthwhile investment.

Overall, meat raffles are not only a unique and fun tradition in Western New York, but they also serve as lucrative fundraising opportunities for organizations. The events encourage community support and provide attendees with the chance to win a variety of meat products at affordable prices. So, if you find yourself in Buffalo, consider attending a meat raffle for a chance to experience this one-of-a-kind event.

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