News - Kane County

North Aurora Firefighters Association’s turkey raffle returning this month after hiatus

"You're the boss," North Aurora firefighter John Nalbandian says to Maddie Bozik, giving her a high-five for a job well done manning the popcorn machine Friday. The 8-year-old fire chief's daughter dressed as a turkey for the packed annual turkey raffle sponsored by the North Aurora Firefighters Association. (Kendra Helmer photo)

After being on hiatus since 2019 because of the pandemic, the North Aurora Firefighters Association’s popular turkey raffle is set to return this month.

The event, which has been held for decades, will be from 6 p.m. until midnight Nov. 18 and Nov. 19 at the main fire station, 2 N. Monroe St., North Aurora.

Throughout the evenings, firefighters will sell raffle tickets. Firefighters will spin a wheel, and if a winning number comes up, that person can choose between types of meats.

There will be a 50/50 drawing at midnight Nov. 19. One does not have to be present to win the drawing. Food and beverages will be served during the event.

“It’s definitely drummed up a lot of excitement,” North Aurora firefighter Alex Pepper said about the return of the turkey raffle. “And of course we’re super happy just because it’s been such a longstanding tradition and a huge event for the community. We were kind of worried whether we were ever going to have it again. And this year, I think it’s going to work out perfectly for us.”

The event raises money for several community activities and groups such as the North Aurora Mothers Club, the North Aurora Lions Club and the North Aurora Baseball Association. The association also offers annual college scholarships to senior high school students who live in North Aurora.

“Any amount of money that we raise will be a success,” Pepper said. “We’re just happy to get everybody back in the building for the turkey raffle.”

Pepper said the turkey raffle has become a tradition in the community.

“People say that it’s something they look forward to every year before Thanksgiving,” he said. “Firefighters also have a lot of fun selling tickets. It’s great camaraderie amongst the firefighters. We also have alumni firefighters come back and help us. I know we’ll have a few this year. They remember what the turkey raffle was like and how busy it can get.”

More information is at nafd.org.