MANOR - Since 2018, the Manor and RM 63 Fire Department has held a weekly Chase the Ace fundraiser every Friday night.
The Observer caught up with acting secretary-treasurer Lucille Dunn for some background information.
Every small town fire department requires regular upgrades to its vehicles and personal protective equipment. Four years ago, the Manor Fire Department obtained a lottery licence from the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority and every Friday a weekly draw at the King George Tavern in Manor is held.
Lottery tickets can be purchased for $5 and the lucky winner gets the opportunity to win a larger pot by drawing for the ace of spades. Obviously, at the start of the season, the chances of drawing the ace is one in 52, but the odds drop week by week as the cards drawn are eliminated. After the most recent draw, the pot stood at $2,667.
Since inception, Dunn advised that this fundraiser has raised over $40,000 for the fire department. In the past, funds have been used to purchase various machinery and equipment, including a fully equipped truck to combat grassfires. However, the majority of the profits go towards training costs and the upgrading of firefighting clothing.
Said Dunn: “Personal fire suits including helmets, belts, boots, and gloves should be purchased every five years. To be fully outfitted, the cost is around $4,000 per firefighter. With the fire department having 25 members (including two women), we try and refit one or two volunteers every year.”
Dunn also noted the Manor Fire Department has had a strong resurgence in recent years with good leadership shown by Cody Thul and Brayden Rowley, among others.
Rowley is the fire chief for Manor/RM 63. The deputy chiefs are Kent Lees and Katrina Zandee. Said Rowley, “Chase the Ace has been an important fundraiser for our local firefighters. The King George Tavern has been a tremendous supporter and I also wish to thank everyone, including Lucille, Darcy McCrimmon and Mike Wilson, among others, for helping out. The Manor Fire Department really appreciates the unbelievable support that we receive in all our fundraisers. Thanks to everyone’s continued support.”
Each week, tickets can be purchased at the King George Tavern or Manor Agencies, or from designated Manor fire department volunteers including Brayden and Karen Rowley. One does not have to be in attendance to win. Weekly draws are shown live every Friday evening on the Manor & RM 63 Fire Department Facebook Page.