AMHERST – VON Cumberland is set to launch a new fundraiser to support some of its community programs.
The organization plans to launch a Lucky Loonie contest in April that will see the VON and the winner split the pot each week. There will be 30,000 numbers available and a guaranteed winner each week.
“The VON is required to raise between $60,000 and $70,000 each year and we’ve been holding a number of fundraisers each year to come up with the money we need for our programs,” board member George Baker said. “We’re going to reduce the number of fundraisers we have, while still maintaining some of the most popular ones. The Lucky Loonie Draw will replace some of those smaller fundraisers.”
The VON has been in the Amherst area since 1938 and the entire county since 1999. Some of the programs it offers include Meals on Wheels, Home Support, nursing visits, foot care clinics, home exercise, adult day care, safety check-in and the Vial of Life.
The Amherst CIBC Wood Gundy Ramblers already offer a Toonie Draw in the community, but it has no more numbers and has an extensive waiting list of people wanting to participate. Baker said the Lucky Loonie Draw shouldn’t compete with the Ramblers draw for this reason.
Baker hopes to have the cards available within the next week or two for people to buy. Like the Toonie draw, people will be expected to play their number each week with the draw every Wednesday.
“We will have a guaranteed winner. If we draw a winner and the number is not played we will continue drawing a number until there’s a winner that has played,” Baker said.
He hopes the draw will make $1,000 or $2,000 weekly, which will go directly to the board for VON programs.
“Government is always cutting health care and it’s putting more pressure on volunteers and on organizations such as ours,” Baker said. “It’s getting harder and harder to make up the difference. We either raise the money as a board, or we consider raising the price of foot care or Meals on Wheels. That’s not something we want to do because people can’t afford it. We hope to keep the costs down by doing this.”
Baker said numbers will be available at several locations including the VON office on Prince Arthur Street in Amherst, the Shell on South Albion Street and Once Again Sports as well as at Guardian Pharmacy in Springhill, the Parrsboro Co-op, Pugwash Esso and Oxford Home Hardware.