After another successful fundraising raffle, with the draw mad on Boxing Day, the Castor Elks have put more money back into the community.
Beneficiary of the 2022 edition of the raffle is the Castor Swimming Pool.
Current Exalted Ruler of the Castor Elks, Mike Courtney, presented the cheque to Town of Castor recreation director Tara Jenkins in a short ceremony on Feb. 1.
The donation of just over $1,000 will go towards ongoing maintenance and upgrade projects at the town’s aging facility. One project on the agenda for 2023 is the replacement of tile in the locker rooms, work which is anticipated to be completed by late spring.
Castor’s Elks have hosted the Boxing Day draw since 1976.
Originally done in conjunction with a Boxing Day dance, according to Courtney the numbers for the dance declined over time until the event was ultimately cancelled.
However, the raffle carried on, though it has evolved over time.
Originally, the raffle winner had a choice between taking the cash or a winter holiday. According to Courtney, the winners always selected the cash and eventually the practice of offering a trip was stopped as well.
In recent years, the draw has had 300 tickets available for sale, usually selling out, with a first-prize of $1,000, second-prize of $500, and third-prize of $300.
Around $1,000 is then directed back into various community groups. Previous fund recipients include the Castor fire department and the Food Bank.
In total, Courtney estimates that the Castor Elks have donated just short of $50,000 to the various community groups over the years.