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EDITORIAL: Luck of the Lourdes’ draw


A luck of the draw has seen a small fundraiser in Lourdes on the Port au Port Peninsula grow into a major generator of cash for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.

For 43 weeks so far, the ellusive ace of spades hasn’t revealed itself and now there are just eight cards left in the deck, so the odds of it coming out are a lot better and growing jackpot prize is mushrooming.

Sunday evening that prize is estimated to come in at about $325,000 based on recent ticket sales.

The small town of Lourdes saw about 600 extra vehicles last weekend as people lined up to purchase $117,750 in tickets.

Mayor Henry Gaudon said getting to that point has taken time, patience and a lot of volunteer hours by parishioners — some of whom put off their summer holidays to ensure the draw still continued on a weekly basis.

In fact, the event had to be changed during the summer from Friday night to Sunday night because a building being used is tied up for weddings on Friday, something else that parish volunteers cater to.

To make sure the Chase the Ace fundraiser was legit from the start the deck of cards was placed in an envelope by a player from that night, sealed and signed by that person. The following week that person would verify his or her signature, open the envelope and ensure the ace of spades was there, along with the remaining cards.

Gaudon said week after week that was carried out and they’ve had few complaints about how the event is run.

So what started out as something that was only meant to be a side fundraiser at a social to play cards and darts has ballooned into a major generator that is resulting in major upgrades and repairs to the parish infrastructure.

Shiny new steel roofs are seen on the parish hall and church as a result and there are many more things to come from the money, including improvements to mission chapels at Ste. Anne’s in Mainland and St. Philomena in Three Rock Cove.

It all goes to show some ingenuity with coming up with a popular fundraiser and some luck with the ace not coming out, can provide big improvements in a small town.

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