RELEASE: Early Bird Winner Brings a Story
The early bird winner in Port Cares’ 50/50 draw came to collect his summer bounty, with a story of his connection to the agency. John Hudak of Port Colborne won the $1,500 prize which consisted of passes to Splashtown Niagara, the Lighthouse Festival at Roselawn Theatre, Safari Niagara passes, a foursome of gold at Niagara National Golf & Country Club, dining certificates for Don Cherry’s and Melina’s, a giant floating flamingo, big beach towels and other fun toys for on the water, all in a cooler on wheels.
When Hudak came to collect the prize, he told staff about how Port Cares has helped him in the past. Over 20 years ago he lost his job right before Christmas and was left helpless before the holidays with kids at home. His mother registered him with the agency for the Give-A-Gift program in hopes that it would save Christmas for him and his family.
That Christmas there were gifts under the tree for the Hudak family.
“I couldn’t believe it, they even gave me presents and I didn’t want presents for myself, I just wanted to make sure my kids had something to open,” Hudak says.
It left such a lasting impression on him that he recently had the opportunity to pay it forward. Hudak and his girlfriend collected change in a jar at home for an entire year and he was happy to bring in over $900 to sponsor a family for Christmas just like he had years before.
“I’ll never forget how Port Cares helped us and I’ll forever be a supporter,” said Hudak.
The current draw has sold $28,000 in tickets so far, so one lucky winner will be taking home at least $14,000 on August 1.
“We’re really excited to see what this draw gets up to, with the opportunity to sell tickets at Canal Days this year,” says Christine Clark Lafleur, executive director at Port Cares.
“It’s bound to be our biggest jackpot yet, and at a time when we need it the most,” says Clark Lafleur.
Funds raised from the draw go directly towards the food bank and meal program that operate out of their Reach Out Centre. Funds that are crucial, now more than ever, as Port Cares has seen an increase of 35 percent in people needing food bank support since the pandemic began and the numbers for their meal program have doubled.
Port Cares’ food bank needs help now, more than ever, and those interested in further supporting are encouraged to consider a direct online donation. More details can be found www.portcares.ca and click “donate” at the top of the page.
September 2020 – Michael Mamo of Port Colborne: $19,830
January 2021 – Marion Minor of Port Colborne: $27,465
June 2021 – Tami Reimer of Welland: $42,660
Sept 2021 – Bruce Wilson of Port Colborne: $34,155
January 2022 – Kathy Pitkin of Port Colborne: $37,505
May 2022 – Suzette Lemay of Welland: $27,795
HOW TO GET TICKETS:
Online anytime at www.portcares5050.ca. Head to the office at 92 Charlotte Street, Monday to Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm to pay with cash or card, or stop by the parking lot on Friday morning from 8:30am to noon to buy outside, across from the farmer’s market.
Port Cares would like to thank their generous media sponsors: Giant FM, Country 89 FM, YourTV Niagara and Niagara This Week. As well, the Caring Supporters at the Port Colborne Downtown BIA, Welland Downtown BIA, Super Mario’s Pizza, Boggio’s Family of Pharmacies, Sobeys Port Colborne, Lemayzzz Meats, Archie’s Subs, Don Cherry’s Port Colborne, Melina’s Family Restaurant, Niagara National Golf & Country Club, Port Colborne McDonald’s, Splashtown Niagara, Safari Niagara, Grants Gifts & the Picket Fence and the Lighthouse Festival at Roselawn Theatre.
Since 1986, Port Cares has offered a multitude of services for people, young and old, not only in Port Colborne, but also across Niagara including Lincoln, West Lincoln, Welland, Pelham and Fort Erie. They offer housing, employment training, a food bank, EarlyON Child and Family Centres, a meal program, utility assistance, counselling and crisis services- as well as seasonal programs like Coats for Kids, Give-a-Gift and more. Our services are wide-ranging - the need is undeniable.