Dianna Dombroskie catches the Ace

Summer is always an important time to raise funds for local healthcare, and August was no exception. The latest Catch The Ace jackpot winner Dianna Dombroskie chose ticket number 45 and it won her the grand total of $82,308.00. Shown above is the lucky lady herself, with Frank Dombroskie helping to hold the cheque. From left at back are: Erin Gienow, Sharon Florent, Lorraine Coulter, Emmett Pecarskie, David Shulist, Ken Kuiack, Ed Chippior,  Raphael Smaglinski, Mary Conway, Christine Hudder. Photo Travis Richards, TRO Social

Dianna admitted that winning was a “bit of a shock.” When the cheque was presented she said she would think long and hard about what to use it for. Eventually Dianna suggested perhaps a “few renovations” or even a short vacation, while Frank piped up to say, “She did mention she would buy me my socks.”

Erin Gienow, Executive Director of St. Francis Valley Healthcare Foundation (SFVH), said it was the foundation’s fifth Catch The Ace lottery, lasting 42 weeks. “With all those lotteries combined, over $553,000 has been raised. That’s really amazing and of course we wouldn’t be able to do this without our phenomenal volunteer team.” She also acknowledge Christine Hudder at SFVH “who is the lead on this whole initiative and she does a great job.”

Volunteers recognized

Gienow said there is a core team of ten volunteers and seven drivers (six from the Wilno Knights of Columbus). Ed Chippior schedules most of the drivers who take turns every week driving the route of about 120 km while Maxine Smaglinski and Joan Kuaick drive roundtrips to Combermere and Whitney respectively. Gienow said the five lotteries so far have meant that during 125 weeks, those “drivers have not missed a beat [for] 125 draws. [I’ve] calculated they’ve driven about 23,000 km. So in relative terms, [it’s] 8,600 km to drive across Canada so they’ve driven almost two and a half times across Canada.” She said they have driven in all different kinds of elements without any complaining “ever — they’ve been just a joy to work with.”

Gienow also ackonwledged cash counters Lorraine Coulter, Sharon Florent and Maxine Smaglinski. Every week, two of them spend about three hours each afternoon. Gienow did the math here, too, reporting, “One hundred and twenty five draws [that’s] 750 hours of counting, reconciling the moolah. Thank you so much ladies.”

Addressing all the SFVH volunteers Gienow said, “When you total that all up it’s amazing. Without your help we wouldn’t be able to do this. You’re helping to keep local healthcare close to home.”

Thanks to the community

Gienow said that proceeds from the lottery go towards the purchase of essential medical equipment for St. Francis Memorial Hospital. She explained that the SFVH team hears so many nice stories about families who appoint one person to keep track of all their numbers and enter each family member into the lottery for every draw. She ended by saying, “Thank you to all of our supporters buying tickets every week.”

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