Chase the Ace

Two com­mu­ni­ties sur­pass $350,000 jack­pots for Chase the Ace

Tri-County Vanguard - - FRONT PAGE - AMY WOOLVETT

Peo­ple have been in hot pur­suit in two com­mu­ni­ties.

A lot of peo­ple are chas­ing aces in two com­mu­ni­ties in south­west­ern Nova Scotia, with over $ 350,000 up for grabs in both places.

The Meteghan Vol­un­teer Fire Depart­ment has 13 cards left and the River Hills Golf and Coun­try Club in Clyde River has six cards left.

RIVER HILLS

When River Hills Golf and Coun­try Club first de­cided to start a Chase the Ace, Lesa O’Con­nell said the club wor­ried about re­coup­ing the ini­tial $200 they had to put into the jack­pot to get it started.

“The club didn’t have an ex­cess of $200,” she said. “We were con­cerned our bud­get couldn’t han­dle it.”

Not in a mil­lion years did they ex­pect the jack­pot to reach the level it has. She said the small group of or­ga­niz­ers that started the fundraiser has grown to 80 vol­un­teers who deal with all the lo­gis­tics of hav­ing a suc­cess­ful Chase the Ace.

“It is an amaz­ing group,” she said. “It is a lot of work but also a lot of fun.”

The last Chase the Ace held on Satur­day, Aug. 5, saw ticket sales for the week of $ 164,816. Chase the Ace tick­ets are $1 each. The win­ning ticket holder was Pamela Muise. The six of hearts was drawn, but she still won $ 32,963. Had the ace of spades been drawn that night, the win­ning amount would have been $387,963.

The next Chase the Ace draw will be Satur­day, Aug. 19.

O’Con­nell said the money raised through the Chase the Ace will sup­port the club’s ju­nior golf pro­gram.

“The ju­nior mem­ber­ship is the fu­ture of our golf course,” she said.

They haven’t spent much of the money raised so far, but have dis­counted mem­ber­ship for ju­niors, of­fered free golf lessons for youth on Tues­day morn­ings and have pro­vided free use of the driv­ing range for ju­niors.

Ev­ery week as the jack­pot has con­tin­ued to grow the stan­dard draw con­tain­ers could no longer sup­port the amount of tick­ets be­ing pur­chased. The tick­ets are now mixed in a fish tub.

“What bet­ter way to cel­e­brate Cape Is­land style than a fish box,” said O’Con­nell.

METEGHAN FIRE DEPART­MENT

When the Meteghan Fire Depart­ment first be­gan its Chase the Ace, it hoped to raise enough funds to spruce up their well-used gym for mem­bers.

This is their third run at the fundraiser. The first two didn’t last long. But the third time’s the charm for Meteghan, which is now at over $350,000, with 13 cards re­main­ing.

“It has the po­ten­tial to go a lot higher,” said fire­fighter and or­ga­nizer Mitchell Hicks.

The Chase the Ace is held Wed­nes­day evenings. On the last draw date of Aug. 2 ticket sales for the week had reached $ 101,525. The win­ning ticket holder Earl Crocker won $20,305 af­ter the ace of clubs was drawn. It’s the ace of spades that wins.

Hicks said money raised through this Chase the Ace is be­ing spent along the way. The depart­ment re­cently pur­chased four sets of bunker gear, new breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tuses and gym equip­ment.

“We are try­ing to buy things that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity can’t,” said Hicks. “They only have so much bud­get.”

They have 150 peo­ple help­ing to or­ga­nize the weekly Chase the Ace with nine lo­ca­tions sell­ing tick­ets all week.

“I don’t want the ace pulled un­til the very last card,” he said. “It’s good for the depart­ment and the com­mu­nity… any­thing can hap­pen.”

The Chase the Ace draws at both lo­ca­tions are livestreamed.

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