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Port aux Basques prospects for Gold Rush lotto players

Jackie Musseau places a registration ticket and her toonie in the Gold Rush box at First Choice Convenience Store.
Jackie Musseau places a registration ticket and her toonie in the Gold Rush box at First Choice Convenience Store. - Contributed

There's a new fundraising lotto game in the Port aux Basques area, and it's designed to benefit three local groups.
Called Gold Rush, the fundraiser will give area residents the chance to support three not-for-profit groups that regularly give back to the town: Port aux Basques Lion’s Club, Southwest Coast Historical Society, and Autism Involves Me (AIM).
Once the set-up funds are repaid to the Lion’s, the proceeds will be equally shared.

How it works
New players can drop into a participating location, complete a one-time Gold Rush ticket and provide contact information. Each player will be registered with a unique number they will use when playing the lotto. Participants can register more than once and will receive a different number for each registration. Players must be 19 years of age or older to play.
It costs a toonie, weekly, to play the game. On each toonie, players must clearly write their registered number on the sticker provided next to the Gold Rush box at participating locations. Attach the sticker to the toonie and drop it in the box.
The cut-off time to play numbers is business closing time on Saturday. Participants should not play on Sunday since this is collection day. Weekly draws from the registered numbers will be done live on FaceBook every Monday at 7 p.m.
All registered numbers will be placed on balls in a barrel. One ball will be chosen and checked to see if that number was played. If a player did not play their number, they cannot collect their share — 50 per cent of the money collected. In the event a number is drawn that has not been played that week, the amount in the pot will be carried over and added to the following week's draw. Winners have 90 days from the date of the draw to claim their prize.
The supporting businesses for this lottery are First Choice Convenience, Main Street Convenience, C & G Variety, North Atlantic Orange Store, PAB Lion’s Club, Bargain Center, and the Leading Edge Credit Union.
The first draw was set for Oct. 14.

Helping the community 
The lottery has been successful in other areas and the organizations are hoping it will be here, too. When asked what the proceeds of this lottery will be used for, former Lions Club member Todd Anderson said the club has a few ideas for the money.
"We are planning on using the money for much-needed building maintenance and donating to local charities," he said.
Candace Matthews, a director of AIM, says its portion of the cash will benefit the community as well.
“We are working right now with the Southwest Historical Museum to raise money for a wind simulation booth to be placed in the new Lauchie MacDougall Room at the museum," she said.
"This booth will allow people to stand inside, turn the controls and feel the different speeds of wind. Most people associate the Southwest coast with our famous wind speeds but few realize the effect that wind can have on people with sensory sensitivities." 
The challenges can be varied, she explained.
"Some children and adults find it difficult to go outside when it’s windy due to their sensory needs," Matthews said. "Once this machine is purchased, it will be an important therapy tool to expose individuals on the spectrum to incremental increases in wind speeds until they are more comfortable. On the other end of the spectrum, we have other people who just love the feeling of wind blowing on them because it helps with sensory regulation and release.”
A wind booth costs approximately $10,000, said Nadine Osmond, president of the Southwest Coast Historical Society Board.
“There is always a lot of fundraising on the go in Port aux Basques so it’s been difficult to come up with an idea to attract people to our fundraising efforts," she said. "We get a small operating grant from the provincial government each year and that allows us to offer a few small events at the museum throughout the year. Bigger projects, like the wind machine, have been out of reach. So it’s very exciting for us to partner with the AIM group and the Lions Club in this 50/50 fundraiser."
Once the wind machine is in place, it will complete the Lauchie MacDougall room, she added.
"It would serve a dual purpose of complimenting the history of Lauchie’s story but also a feature to include in what this town offers to assist children/adults with autism.”
Each group has more ideas for the future. The Lion’s Club is continually contributing to local charities, while AIM is working with businesses to develop sensory baskets and buying materials and resources for area citizens. The Southwest Coast Historical Society wishes to give support to heritage and history projects in other communities in the region. 

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