ESTEVAN - Christmas is still four months away, but the Estevan Kinsmen Club has already embarked on a fundraiser to support a valuable cause.
The Kinsmen are using their Chase the Ace fundraiser to help out the Community Hamper Association’s Angel Tree program. The first draw was held at the Beef Bar on Aug. 5, but the Ace of Spades wasn’t pulled.
Preston Majeran with the Estevan Kinsmen Club said they want to help Estevan area residents have a great Christmas, and they hope to raise at least $50,000 through Chase the Ace.
“We looked around and we saw all of the community support that the Angel Tree was getting last year, and with the way the economy’s going, it’s starting to rebound, but we thought there might still be some people out there (in need),” Majeran told the Mercury.
Rather than trying to do something at the last minute, Majeran said the Kinsmen want to try something as early as possible to help the association plan for this Christmas season.
“We’re hoping that the community will come through, and Estevan always comes through in any kind of fundraising. We thought the Angel Tree was a great project and we really wanted to jump on board.”
People in the Estevan area enjoy giving back to the community, and with the success of Chase the Ace fundraisers, Majeran is confident they can hit the $50,000 goal.
For this Chase the Ace, tickets will be available throughout the week at the Beef; previously, the Kinsmen sold them the night of the draw.
While they know people don’t want to talk about Christmas in August, they needed to start selling tickets now.
Char Seeman, who co-chairs the Community Hamper Association alongside Heather Woodhouse, said this fundraiser will be vital. Meeting the needs of the community last year depleted a lot of their resources.
She expects the need will remain high in 2021.
“There’s still a lot of families that aren’t working yet, because their jobs are totally lost. It’s not even a fact of waiting to go back to work; their job is no longer there. So many places have closed, oilfield companies have gone under, those kinds of things,” she said.
If there’s another surge in COVID cases, then the hamper association might not be able to set up the Angel Tree in Walmart this year.
“We want to be prepared, we want to be able to have the money to go out and buy the toys for the kids, and make these kids get something. That’s my biggest thing, is make sure every kid has a toy under the tree,” said Seeman.
The hamper association believes it costs about $75 to meet the needs of each child, between the toy, the wrapping paper, toque and mittens. Last year they helped more than 560 kids.
During her time with the Community Hamper Association, this is the largest fundraiser that has occurred. There were a few tears shed when the Kinsmen called and said they wanted to use its Chase the Ace for the Angel Tree.
“It was awesome to hear from them and say ‘Hey, we realize what good things you guys are doing for our community,’ and for another organization to look at us and say ‘Hey, you guys are doing amazing, what you’re doing for the community.’ It was a boost and it was a nice thing,” said Seeman.
And it’s not the first time the hamper association has benefitted from the efforts of a local Kin club. In recent years, the Estevan Kinettes Club has had its PJ Project that ensures every child who benefits from the Angel Tree also receives a pair of pyjamas.
Tickets for Chase the Ace are $5 each. Twenty per cent of the week’s sales will go to the winner of the weekly draw, 30 per cent goes to the jackpot and 50 per cent goes to the Angel Tree.
The weekly winner will get the chance to pull the ace of spades from a deck of cards. If successful, they win the jackpot. If not, the jackpot carries over to the next week.
A maximum of 20,000 tickets will be sold, and the maximum prize is $53,000. A sponsorship from Courage Oilfield meant that the week 1 jackpot would be at least $3,000.
The final draw date is scheduled for Dec. 9.