Blaine Lake Seniors' Citizens Centre held its cash lottery draw Oct. 18.
Many community area residents attended the hamburger barbecue at the centre prior to the draws. The winner of $100,000 cash was Yvonne Beaudry of Langham and the $10,000 prize winner was John McDonald of Marcelin.
Barry Glencross was the auditor for the draw. Draw makers were Blaine lake CIBC staff members Cheryle Lavoie and Terry Lavoie. Also in attendance was Sheila Righi, first vice- chair of the Saskatchewan Seniors Association Incorporated (SSAI), she also holds the title as Director of region B, of which Blaine Lake is part of.
"This was the first time any senior organization of Saskatchewan has attempted a fundraising effort of this magnitude," said Sheila proudly anticipating the results.
Months of organizing, preparing and ticket selling came to a close Oct. 15 at approximately 5:35 p.m. when the last available ticket was sold. It was a heart warming experience especially when the room filled with cheers and applause and organizers hugged each other as tears of accomplishment rolled down fatigued faces. CJWW and Rod Kitter did a phenomenal job promoting ticket sales and offering their professional expertise every step of the way. Live on-location broadcast contributed to 249 tickets sales Tuesday, 275 Wednesday, 422 Thursday and 547 Friday.
"It was exciting to see people stop by just because they had heard about the lotto on CJWW," said Anne Sitter, one of the lotto organizers. "It is uplifting to know that Saskatchewan people are really supportive when it comes to community projects."
"We would not be able to finish this expansion project as quickly without the support of so many," adds Marj Pool, president of the senior centre.
A long period of time and a large volunteer base was required to ensure the success of the event.
The purpose of the lottery was to raise funds to assist with the seniors' centre's building expansion.
It takes a vision by a few to lead the rest towards a goal. In rural Saskatchewan, every organization and business is faced with survival challenges.
"It was best that we had a designated person(s) for each project," said Pool, who heads up the construction committee, "that way we were able to keep the lines of communication open with less confusion."
The construction phase is a work in progress. The original portion of the seniors' centre did not provide enough 'main level' room for its members to enjoy all the recreational equipment so when the opportunity arose for the seniors to purchase the lot next door, there was no hesitation. The expansion will provide more main level space for the entire community to utilize. The seniors will be able to enjoy using the pool table, shuffle board, carpet bowling, bingo, entertainment equipment, and Wii Fit and card games on a regular basis. The facility is also used for social gatherings, family events, meetings and fundraisers.
The excessive amount of rainfall experienced this past summer created challenges for the construction crew and the structure of the existing building. Despite the best efforts of protecting the existing building during the roof construction, it still received damage from the excessive amount of rain.
Anne Sitter and Annette Pollard were instrumental in handling the cash lotto finances and organizing community volunteers. Although there are a few leaders who initiate a project, it is the many 'behind the scenes' people that contribute to the project's success. Many duties like answering telephones, issuing tickets, stuffing envelopes, inputting data into the computer, trips to the bank deposit, picking up supplies, plus so much more. There were also the generous volunteer efforts of locals who provided food items for lunches and supper, baked goods for coffee breaks and lots and lots of moral support. It definitely was an opportunity for the entire community to work collaboratively towards a common goal. It is not only providing a facility for seniors but for the entire community.
We, the future 'senior' generation, commend you for all your efforts and hard work. Your vision is our reality and without the inspiration and dedication, the expansion and lotto would not have happened. The support given by residents from outside the community and province was inspiring that as each ticket purchased was not only a chance to win some cash prizes but was also a donation to the livelihood of the seniors in the Blaine Lake community. So many times people are caught up in their own busy lives we often neglect to see the 'importance of' and 'invest in' the lives of our seniors.
The community of Blaine Lake thanks everyone for their support. Other cash prize winners included $1,000 winners S. Goetken, Watson.; Renie Kwas, Hafford ; Lorraine Tebb, Biggar; Wilfred Young, Big River; Danny and Brenda Kolla, Cudworth; Glen Kerr, Coleville; Lucille Strasser, Bruno; Gail Loehndorf (art group), Rabbit Lake; Lawrence Prystupa, Maymont; Doreen Pellitier and Irene Disiewich, Rosthern. Winning $500 were: Johan Loewen, Rosetown; Bob Boire, Shell Lake; Roger Chapman, Humboldt; Joanne Warren, Shell Lake; Dolice Lavoie, Saskatoon; Margaret and Hank Wiebe, Warman; Jason Uhryn, Wakaw; Evelyn Turner, Edna Griffiths, Alvina Howlett, Ethel Bugera, Allan; Trevor and Carole Dutchak, Prince Albert; and Isack Wolf, Mendam