Rotary Club of Seminole Lake’s Red Sled initiative raises $32K for Eckerd Connects

SEMINOLE — The Rotary Club of Seminole Lake’s Red Sled initiative raised $32,000 in toy and monetary donations for the foster children in the care of Eckerd Connects.

From mid-November through mid-December, the Rotary Club set up Red Sled donation boxes at various locations throughout Seminole, including the Seminole Recreation Center, Dr. Sandra Lilo’s office, Dr. Stephen Nickse’s office, Sea Hags Bar & Grill, and Big Jim’s Famous Steaks Tavern & Tap.

The club also hosted special events throughout the holiday season, where they collected toys and raised money for the initiative.

The biggest of these events was the Red Party, one of the Rotary Club’s signature annual events, which was held Dec. 6 at Chapel on the Hill church. Guests were asked to bring one unwrapped gift to the party, which had food from at least 15 area restaurants and a performance by the Sounds of Soul. They collected 1,100 toys at this year’s event.

“That’s really our biggest, obviously, our biggest hit, but it seemed like it was even bigger this year, as far as the amount of stuff that came in and the quality of stuff. It was outrageous,” said Gerry Cachia, Rotary Club member and founder of the Red Sled initiative. “All-in-all it was a good success.”

The Rotary Club delivered the donations to Eckerd Connects Dec. 19.

With this year’s Red Sled wrapped up for the year, the club is already thinking about its next big event, Cachia added.

The club will host The McCartney Project, a tribute band dedicated to the music of Paul McCartney, Wings and the Beatles, Saturday, Jan. 25, 7 p.m., at Seminole High School, 8401 131st St. N.

This is the second show in the new Rotary Rocks concert series. The series launched Sept. 5 with a performance by the band 1969 at Chapel on the Hill.

Funds raised at the Jan. 25 concert will benefit the Seminole Warhawks Marching Band and Rotary Club charities.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at