Over a decade ago, BNSR President Paula Walsh wanted to create a signature fundraiser to raise awareness of Rotary in Bloomington-Normal. A group of club members put their heads together and came up with what we now call Brats & Bags. It was successful beyond our wildest dreams!
It was so successful, in fact, that we decided to consolidate the efforts of our various committee fundraisers into this one large event!
In the beginning, the event benefitted the Midwest Food Bank. But as it grew, the club diversified the beneficiaries to include Heartland Scholarships, our International Kiva investments, and many other local charities in need of different financial assistance.
After a few years of moving back and forth, Brats & Bags settled into its now permanent location on the downtown Bloomington museum square, and is always on the first Friday of August. Lunch is served from 11:00 am- 1:00 pm (we cook an average of 1500 brats!), and once lunch is over we set up our bags tournament, which starts at 5:00 pm (and we average 85 teams playing each year!).
The event is supported by Sunrise Rotarians, who each help by selling brat lunch tickets and bags teams, selling sponsorships, and volunteering at the event — it takes an entire club to pull off an event like this, with shifts of people working all day!
Lunch Tickets purchased ahead of time are only $8, and are $9 the day of the event. All Sunrise Rotarians are required to sell 15 tickets. This is the only fundraiser you’re required to assist with all year long.
Lunch consists of a Johnsonville brat on hoagie bun, a bag of chips, a can of soda, and a huge heartfelt THANK-YOU for helping with our fundraiser!
If you are ordering 15 or more lunches, we can have a Sunrise Rotarian deliver them to your office!
This is an amateur level tournament only. Teams consist of 2 people and early bird rates begin at $50, but as the event gets closer, grows to $100/team.
Different levels of Sponsorship are available to members and the community! Sponsors help make this event happen whether their aide is in-kind or financial. Sponsorship levels range from $100-$2000.