By Darren Lum
Published May 16 2017
The Haliburton Highlands Outdoor Association is looking to a popular East Coast fundraising idea to help them meet growing financial demands.
HHOA vice-president of education and marketing Rusty Rustenburg said his organization is among the first group of Ontario organizations to try the very popular Chase the Ace game started a few years ago.
Rustenberg is inviting the public to play “Catch the Ace” (its name changed slightly as a nod to the recipient of the fundraising) for some fun and to help the volunteer-run group cover their operating costs which includes a $16000 annual hydro bill required to keep the lights on and power the pumps at the fish hatchery in Haliburton.
Although HHOA relies on a few other fundraisers in the year and grants to stay operational the group is hoping to supplement its efforts with this borrowed idea.
“We’re just trying to carry our own weight. Hopefully the community will back [us]” Rustenburg said.
Canoe FM and the Haliburton Highlands Resource Centre will also receive money from the fundraiser.
Catch the Ace is a progressive lottery – the longer the draw is held the more money is available to win.
In an email Rustenburg wrote “One ticket is drawn and the desired envelope number (out of 52) indicated on the stub will be removed from a lockbox by a ticket marshal. The selected envelope will be opened containing a playing card. If it is any other card than the ace of spades card the winner gets 20 per cent of ticket sales from the previous week of sales. The next week the 30 per cent of sales gets rolled over into a progressive jackpot for when the ace of spades is opened.”
Ticket buyers don’t have to be present to win. The draw ends once the ace of spades is drawn.
Limited to only 450 tickets at a cost of $5 each per week this fundraiser provides very good odds of winning. The tickets were available for purchase starting on May 10. Tickets are available at participating retailers that sell Canoe FM bingo cards and at the local volunteer radio station in Haliburton the HHOA and select trade shows. Sales of tickets will end by noon every Wednesday followed by the weekly draw of the winning ticket at the HHOA at 6 p.m. OPP constable Tim Negus will be verifying the envelopes.
Rustenburg a retired MNRF conservation officer started his career in the area as a student and then worked in the Thunder Bay and Atikokan area. He believes in the role of the HHOA to help young people get involved in a variety of activities to learn and be active.
The HHOA is divided into two divisions: fish hatchery and the club operations.
The hatchery is active with its fish stocking programs to ensure the health of lakes in the Highlands. It also educates the public particularly children about local wildlife habitats and the environment. Among the key education components: the local heritage species Haliburton Gold lake trout. The club division of the HHOA provides outdoor education related past-times such as archery fly fishing the hunt club and outdoors club.