WHITBOURNE FAM­ILY HON­OURS MOTHER WITH AN­NUAL CARD GAME

Fundrais­ing sees $8,000 do­nated to Heart & Stroke so far

The Compass - - Front page - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@cb­n­com­pass.ca

WHITBOURNE, NL —An an­nual me­mo­rial card game held in Whitbourne hopes to see an­other suc­cess­ful year of fundrais­ing for a good cause.

Jean Vokey, an avid card player, passed away on Christ­mas morn­ing in 2006 from a mild heart at­tack.

Sev­eral years later, her fam­ily and friends have been com­ing to­gether each year to play cards in her mem­ory, while fundrais­ing for the Heart & Stroke Foun­da­tion of New­found­land and Labrador.

Lorna Vokey, Jean’s daugh­ter, ex­plained the games have been go­ing on for the past nine years and have raised ap­prox­i­mately $8,000 – all of which has been do­nated to the Heart & Stroke Foun­da­tion.

Jean loved to play cards, ac­cord­ing to her daugh­ter, and the idea of her fam­ily and close friends com­ing to­gether in her mem­ory to en­joy some­thing she loved felt like the best way to re­mem­ber Jean.

“We get a good crowd ev­ery year, and some of the peo­ple that come to play were friends of mom’s be­fore she passed,” said Lorna. “It’s won­der­ful to see them com­ing to re­mem­ber her, and shar­ing their favourite sto­ries of her.”

Do­na­tions to the event come from busi­nesses in Whitbourne and sur­round­ing ar­eas, as well as places such as St. John’s and Con­cep­tion Bay South. Do­na­tions in­clude money, as well as gift cer­tifi­cates and prizes. Ev­ery year, play­ers come to­gether for games of 120s, a game Lorna said her mother en­joyed. “Peo­ple look for­ward to the card game, I think, be­cause not only is it for a good cause, but the prizes are all fairly big ones,” said Lorna. “First, sec­ond, and third win­ners all get prizes val­ued over $100, so that’s pretty ex­cit­ing for peo­ple too.”

Other prizes are given to play­ers who re­ceive the low­est score, or to the player with the most ace of heart cards, lead­ing to an ex­cit­ing night for those who take part in the game.

Ticket sales add to the fi­nal amount of money raised at the end of the night, with tick­ets be­ing sold for give­aways on vary­ing items, in­clud­ing food prizes for salt fish, hard bread, and other New­found­land del­i­ca­cies.

With thou­sands of dol­lars raised, Lorna and her fam­ily are quite proud of the achieve­ment. She said the Heart & Stroke Foun­da­tion has shown great ap­pre­ci­a­tion for what they do, adding she felt the foun­da­tion didn’t get as much at­ten­tion as it de­served.

“The first time I met with (the Heart & Stroke Foun­da­tion) they asked me what I thought was the num­ber one killer in women in Canada. Of course, my first re­sponse was can­cer, but heart dis­ease and strokes are num­ber one. I didn’t know that, and I don’t think many other peo­ple re­al­ize that ei­ther,” ex­plained Lorna. “Heart & Stroke doesn’t get the kind of lime­light that other or­ga­ni­za­tions do. Not to say that the oth­ers mean any less, not at all, but you don’t hear as much about Heart & Stroke as you do with oth­ers, so I think any do­na­tions and fundrais­ing for them is re­ally im­por­tant.”

Lorna told the Com­pass she knows her mother would be happy to see her fam­ily’s ac­com­plish­ments, not­ing the me­mo­rial game is a good mix­ture of her will­ing­ness to help any­one and ev­ery­one she met in life, as well as her love of cards.

“Mom al­ways put ev­ery­one be­fore her­self, and any­one who knew her could tell you that,” Lorna said. “I know that if she could see this, see all her friends and fam­ily com­ing to­gether and rais­ing money to help other peo­ple, she’d love it. Ab­so­lutely.”

Any­one wish­ing to at­tend the game is wel­come on Fri­day, Nov. 10 at the Whitbourne Lion’s Club at 7 p.m.

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Jean Vokey died Christ­mas morn­ing, 2006.

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