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Rugby League’s biggest annual community fundraising initiative is now underway with this year’s Toyota Monster Raffle out to raise more than one million dollars for grass-roots Rugby League clubs across Australia.

For the first time, the game’s annual grass-roots fundraising campaign has also gone online with supporters able to buy Toyota Monster Raffle tickets at as well as through participating grass-roots Rugby League clubs.

Since being launched by Rugby League’s One Community in 2007, the Toyota Monster Raffle has raised more than $1.7million for grass-roots Rugby League clubs across Australia by donating 100 per cent of profits from each $5 raffle ticket sold directly back to the clubs.

Supporters of the initiative who purchase their tickets online will also this year have the option of directing their support to flood and cyclone-affected clubs, with funds collected through this option to be placed in a pool that will then be split amongst the nominated clubs.

“The Toyota Monster Raffle is a way that everyone can help make a difference to grass-roots Rugby League clubs in our communities,” NRL Director of Community, Culture & Diversity, Ms Trish Crews, said.

“As there is no expense to the clubs themselves, the more tickets they sell, the more money they raise towards the projects that matter to them most.

“This initiative has the potential to raise significant funds for all grass-roots Rugby League clubs across Australia and, in particular, clubs in regional and rural areas and clubs affected by this year’s floods and cyclones.

“There’s a fantastic pool of prizes on offer and at only $5 a ticket, I urge all Rugby League fans and the general public to support this initiative and help make a difference in their communities.”

Among the grass-roots clubs who have benefited from the Toyota Monster Raffle is the Illawarra-based Helensburgh Tigers, who over the last three years raised $16,000 towards building a sheltered deck for its club-house which has led to an increase in community interest and membership of the club.

“Without the Toyota Monster Raffle we would not have been able to build the deck in such a short space of time,” Helensburgh Tigers Secretary, Mr Stephen Rolfe said.

“When we started our involvement in the Toyota Monster Raffle, we had 40 club members and three years on we are at 300 and there is no doubt that the funds generated have greatly contributed to this expansion.”

Toyota Senior Executive Director, Sales and Marketing, Mr David Buttner, said he is delighted Toyota is actively involved in such an important grass-roots Rugby League initiative.

“Toyota is committed to doing our bit for the community and this initiative is a fantastic way in which we can show our support for grass-roots Rugby League communities,” Mr Buttner said.

“Now in its fifth year, the Toyota Monster Raffle goes from strength to strength with the funds going directly back into the community growing each year to help out where it’s needed most.”

The Toyota Monster Raffle is a combined project of Rugby League’s One Community in conjunction with Toyota. This year’s prize pool features two Toyota Corolla Ascents, a holiday at the Byron at Byron resort and a signed Kangaroos jersey amongst the range of prizes up for grabs.