RELEASE: Third Winner Picks up Biggest Cheque Yet for our 50/50
(June 7, 2021 - PORT COLBORNE) Another Niagara resident has won the Port Cares online 50/50 draw, but never this much money. The third draw collected $85,320 in just four weeks; over $28,000 of that came in on the final day.
Tami Reimer of Welland picked up her cheque for $42,660 today and says she still can’t believe it. “I’d like to think it’s good karma coming back to me,” says Reimer. “Hearing a radio ad reminded me to get my tickets last week, and I actually purchased for another local draw and made a donation to another. So, three donations in one night, but I never thought I’d be getting this much back a week later!”
This draw for Port Cares had a guarantee of winning $10,000; double from the previous draw. With tickets sales high from the beginning, that was quickly surpassed within a week.
“We’re blown away at the amount of support for this draw,” says executive director, Christine Clark Lafleur. “Third time was definitely a charm for us. We had a blast seeing so many people come to our office to purchase tickets after going to the farmers market.”
James Culic was the Early Bird draw winner on Friday, May 21, taking home $1,000; $500 in grocery gift cards and $500 cash. He even donated a portion of his cash winnings back to the registered charity.
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 34 percent in people needing food bank support since the pandemic began and the numbers for their meal program have doubled.
The draw transpired out of a need to recoup $150,000 in lost funding that was usually raised through fundraising events, which were cancelled due to the pandemic. This is the first of four draws that will take place over the next year.
“Here at Port Cares, our ability to serve the individuals, families and children who count on us has certainly taken a toll with the impact of Covid-19,” says Clark Lafleur. “Social distancing has limited the services we provide in-person while demand for assistance in areas like our meal program for low income people has skyrocketed. And now with the economic downturn coming out of the pandemic, we know that the need in our community is only bound to grow.”
“This online 50/50 was started as a result of the pandemic that forced us to cancel all in-person events which are our major fundraising opportunities,” explains Clark Lafleur. “This has been a great opportunity for us to recoup our much-needed dollars that support our foodbank, hot meal program, school lunch program and more.”
Losing the proceeds of major fundraising events like the annual auction gala has left a shortfall of $150,000 – funds depended on to operate the agency’s charitable services like the foodbank which does not receive any form of government funding.
The first 50/50 draw winner in September 2020 was Michael Mamo of Port Colborne, netting $19,830 and donated $5,000 back. The second winner was Marion Minor, who also donated a portion back from her winnings of $27,465.
Another draw is anticipated to launch on August 1 and run to September 3, to “end your summer smiling,” and they’ll bring back the holiday-edition one with 12 days of early bird prizes in December.
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, No Frills, Lisa St. Amand and Artful Windows.
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 foodbank, Niagara Youth Justice services, 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.