Draw with new twist raising funds for BBBS

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When Big Brothers Big Sisters sees green it is not with envy, but they see their green BIG Bucks boxes that are located at 20 vendors throughout Pictou County.

Summer student activity co-ordinators Heidi MacDonald, left, and Jenna MacDonald show the BIG Bucks boxes to be used in a fundraiser for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Submitted

Big Brothers Big Sisters launched their latest fundraiser just a little over a year ago and so far it has been very successful. Margie Grant-Walsh, executive director of the local organization says, “BIG Bucks has been a very positive experience for us.  Last year was a very tough year for us financially not reaching some of our targets, however BIG Bucks has helped us regain lost ground.”

BIG Bucks is a little different from a regular 50/50 draw. Players register a number, place their number on a sticker, place it on a toonie, and drop it in a locked box at one of the vendors. The boxes are then collected on Tuesdays and the toonies are processed. Players can also play Extended Play where they pay ahead for a number of weeks. All registration numbers are placed in a raffle drum. A number is then selected, if you played your number that week you win the pot, if you did not play your number, the pot rolls over to the next week and does so until there is a winner.

Grant Walsh says, “It has taken a bit of time to educate everyone on the draw since it is a bit different than the average 50/50. People think they will have more of a chance to win if they place their number on more than one toonie, however, we do not draw from the toonies, but we draw from the registration numbers so the second toonie would end up as a donation.  If someone wants more chances, they need to register another number, however, if they do not play the number regularly and it is pulled, they may lose out on the pot. We have seen the pot go up over $7,000 so it certainly generates some excitement and since it only costs $2 to play, it is fun and affordable for everyone and helps us maintain our services to children.”

There are numerous measures in place to ensure the integrity of the draw. Rules and regulations are approved by the Gaming and Lottery Division and the process carried out to perform the draw has been tried and tested by a number of other Big Brothers Big Sisters agencies that are also carrying out the draw. Vendors boxes are locked and when collected are replaced by another locked box.

Grant-Walsh adds, “We have security cameras recording the processing of the toonies and the draw in case of any questions. We felt it was the responsible thing to do.”

Over the next few weeks the local organization will be working hard at increasing registrations so there will be a larger player pool. They encourage anyone with questions to contact the local organization at 752-6260 or to learn more about BIG Bucks visit www.bbbsofpc.com and click on events then BIG Bucks or “like” them on Facebook.

Organizations: BIG Bucks, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Gaming and Lottery Division

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