By Jamie Mountain
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
EARLTON – The Earlton Lions Club has made a change concerning its annual draw.
The Lions Club is opting to have monthly online 50/50 draws moving forward.
“The previous annual ticket sales required person-to-person contact and finding sellers in new areas was sometimes very challenging,” explained draw director and Earlton Lions Club president Sylvie Boileau.
“Then came March 2020 and the world came to a stop. All public activities and events were cancelled for the rest of the calendar year, making it very difficult to reach our supporters,” she said in an email interview.
Knowing that person-to-person selling is not encouraged, and with having all events cancelled for the year, Boileau said the club “thought that the move to an online lottery was a good fit for us.”
The new format replaces the annual draw format, which has been running for the last 32 years.
Those who enter now have a chance to win monthly, starting in March.
Tickets are $5 for three numbers, $10 for 10 numbers or $20 for 60 numbers and can be purchased online at www.earltonlions5050.ca or by visiting the Lions Club’s office located in the Earlton RV building at 332442 Highway 11, in Armstrong Township.
As of Monday, March 8, the estimated take-home prize for the month was $608.
The lottery will close at 11:59 p.m. on the final day of each month.
“Moving forward I do feel that the 50/50 monthly draw is the way to go,” said Boileau.
“COVID-19 has forced many businesses and organizations to find innovative ways to sell their products. Here we are in March 2021 and events are cancelled, so trying to sell tickets to new and existing supporters would be very challenging.”
Since 1988, all profits from the Lions Club’s draws have been reinvested throughout Northern Ontario.
More than $1.6 million has been donated to over 100 organizations, including hospitals, schools, food banks, youth groups and recreation and cultural clubs.
“We believe that this new lottery format will be beneficial to the club, therefore we can continue to support the causes that we have been in the last 32 years,” said Boileau.
“The Earlton Lions Club is a very active club and we want to remain visible and involved in our community.”
Looking ahead, Boileau said the club is looking forward to hosting and organizing breakfasts and dinners for takeout, Monster Bingos and mega yard sales when COVID restrictions finally are lifted.
She added that the club is “always looking for ideas and new members,” while also asking the public to stay tuned for future events.
“If you think our club would be a good fit for you, contact me,” she said.
Boileau can be reached by calling 705-563-2122.
Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker