Sarnia Hospice Turns To Online Lottery For Fundraising Help


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St. Joseph’s Hospice in Sarnia has launched an online Catch the Ace lottery to help offset in-person fundraising that has been affected due to restrictions related to the pandemic.

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It started selling tickets at 11 a.m. Thursday and will last for up to 52 weeks, with weekly draws every Thursday until the Ace of Spades is revealed and the progressive jackpot is won.

“Due to the pandemic we kind of had to think outside the box,” said Maria Muscedera, director of fund development and community relations with the hospice.

The 10-bed hospice must raise around $ 1.6 million each year to pay the 57% of its budget not covered by government funding. In addition to residency, it offers bereavement programs and other support and education programs, all of which are free.

Like other charities, the hospice has had to adapt to public health rules that have temporarily halted traditional in-person community events or moved them online. Her bereavement programs have also been posted online.

“We have lost revenue from our events due to the COVID pandemic and physical distancing restrictions,” Muscedera said. “We thought, ‘how are we going to make this up? “”

Online lotteries are an approach used by other nonprofits to help with fundraising. So they opted for the Catch the Ace format, she said.

“We thought we would bring some enthusiasm to the local level and we hope it will be a win-win – a victory for us and a victory for our supporters.”

The progressive jackpot for the Toronto Sick Kids Hospital Catch the Ace lottery recently reached $ 1.2 million in its 27th week.

Tickets for the St. Joseph’s Hospice Lottery are sold online at and the prices are 10 tickets for $ 10, 60 tickets for $ 20 and 200 tickets for $ 40. Half of weekly ticket sales go to the hospice, 30 percent go to the progressive jackpot, and 20 percent go to the weekly raffle prize.

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When someone buys a ticket, they also select an electronic card that they believe is the ace of spades. If their ticket is chosen in the weekly draw, they win the weekly prize and their card is revealed to see that it is the ace and progressive jackpot winner. If not, the progressive jackpot continues to grow.

The draws take place at 9 a.m. every Thursday. Tickets are only valid the week they are purchased.

The Hospice is also currently hosting its Face to Face fundraiser, where volunteers ask 10 friends to donate $ 10 each, with the goal of raising $ 10,000 by the end of June.

“We’re halfway there,” Muscedera said of the amount raised so far by volunteers. “We have amazing supporters in our community and we just want to thank them for always being with us.”

Muscedera said hospice officials hope to start resuming some in-person support programs in September as the restrictions are lifted.

“The safety of our community, and the safety of our staff and customers, is the top priority,” she said.


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