Unable to hold their annual golf tournament in June, the Lennox and Addington Community General Hospital Foundation had to brainstorm new ideas to raise much needed funding.
The result is the Catch the Ace Progressive Lottery, which launches online on Sept. 4.
“It’s a progressive lottery,” explains LACGH’s Catch the Ace chair Kelly Schermerhorn. “Every week there’s a winner that’s going to be drawn. They win a weekly prize and they also have an opportunity to choose a card. They’re looking for the ace of spades. If the ace of spades is there, they win the jackpot, which is a progressive jackpot. If it’s not the ace of spades, that card is removed from the deck and then the funds for the progressive roll into the next week.”
Tickets go on sale at Ace-LACGHF.com starting Sept. 4 with the first draw on Sept. 10. Each week’s winner will virtually select a ‘card’ from the website in hopes of finding the ace of spades. In theory, the lottery could run for 52 weeks until all cards are selected. On the other hand, the card could be found on any given week. The longer the ace goes without being selected, the more money gets added to the jackpot and more money raised for the hospital. Tickets are 3 for $10. Though tickets aren’t on sale yet, visitors to the website can sign up to be part of a weekly mailing list which will keep them up to date with the weekly draws. Anyone that buys a ticket must be in Ontario when they do so.
Each week the winner will be drawn on Facebook Live, every Friday at 4 p.m. in partnership with MyFM. That week’s winner will claim 20 per cent of the money raised for that week, with 30 per cent going to the progressive jackpot, of which the grand prizewinner will claim. The remaining 50 per cent goes to the foundation.
“(Money raised from the Catch the Ace lottery) goes into the general fund which goes towards the equipment, services, we also are called upon to help with capital improvement funding,” said Adrienne Harris-Hale of the LACGH Foundation. “The hospital is looking to do some capital improvements.”
For several reasons stemming from COVID-19, the hospital’s budget has been stretched this year.
“We constantly have to support the hospital with equipment because the ministry doesn’t fund that,” said Michelle Dickerson, executive director of the LACGH Foundation. “We have that obligation but even more now our donations that are coming in have been used for COVID needs because that’s taken the priority. We still have the mandate that we have to support with general medical equipment, it’s still there on top of COVID and then there’s been a reduction in our funding methods as well.”
COVID-19 forced the cancellation of the LACGH annual golf tournament, which typically brings in between $20,000 and $30,000 to the hospital. The foundation is currently moving ahead with plans for its annual gala, but the reality is that event, which is typically held in February, could have to be cancelled as well.
If successful, the Catch the Ace fundraiser could become a regular event held by the hospital.