Christine Whelan FEO, February 1, 2024, VOL. 5 ISSUE 11
Catch the Ace, a progressive lottery, has been building momentum in Fort Erie since September. The Fort Erie Lions, in partnership with the Fort Erie Legion, Br. 71, are now into their 18th week and will continue until the Ace is “caught” which could take up to 52 weeks.
Money generated by this event will be used by the Lions and the Legion to fund several community projects, especially in this time of need for so many who require the necessities of life.
Keith Rothney, President of the Fort Erie Lions Club, says, “This will be a very big money maker for our community.”
Rothney began explaining, “Catch the Ace is based on a deck of 52 cards. One card is pulled every week.”
It’s a multiple-draw game in which participants purchase tickets for a chance to win 20% of the proceeds from the sale of tickets from one draw.
“Sometimes, it can go in three weeks. Sometimes, it could last for fifty weeks. So, we will be starting again after this one is finished. Even if it gets picked this week, we’ll be starting again.”
The person who selects the winning ticket each week has the opportunity to select one playing card from the deck. If the Ace of Spades is selected, the winner will also win the progressive jackpot, which is 30%, in addition to the winning ticket that week.
If the card selected is not the Ace of Spades, the selected card is removed from the deck and the progressive prize portion of the ticket sales for that week is rolled over into the progressive jackpot for the next scheduled draw.
The weekly draws continue until the Ace of Spades has been selected and the progressive jackpot has been awarded.
“When it’s progressive like this, the further it goes along, the more excitement there is. The jackpot keeps building.”
How to get involved?
The cost per ticket is $5.00, 3 for $10.00 or 7 for $20.00. The draws are held every Saturday at 7:00 PM at The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 71, 130 Garrison Road. Tickets are sold all week when the Legion is open. Winners not present will be contacted by phone.
“You have to buy a ticket each week to stay in the draw.”
Keith stated they are thinking about taking the lottery online. “It would increase our chances because we’d be available to anybody in Ontario.” Adding, “We won’t go exclusively online. We will continue what we are doing at the Legion.”
The fifty per cent that goes to the Lions and Legion goes back into the community.
THE FORT ERIE LIONS: Putting Back Into the Community
The Lions Club of Bridgeburg began in the St. Andrews-Knox Presbyterian Church on February 25, 1927, with 35 members, and was the 33rd club chartered in Canada. When the village of Fort Erie and the Town of Bridgeburg amalgamated to become the Town of Fort Erie on January 1, 1932, the club became The Lions Club of Fort Erie.
Throughout the years, the club has contributed to and affected Fort Erie in many large and small ways. Among those contributions are:
War Memorial – The club’s first major project began on June 18, 1928, with a door-to-door fundraiser for a memorial to those who fell in World War I. In just 5 days, $5,000 was raised for the War Memorial Committee. The Cenotaph was unveiled on May 24, 1929, in the centre of town at the Post Office. The Cenotaph stands proudly today at Mathers Arch.
Douglas Memorial Hospital – The club contributed to major construction projects at the hospital in 1966 and 1980 with donations to the Building Fund.
Air Cadets – In October 1943, the Fort Erie Lions Club was approached by the civilian Air Cadet League of Canada to sponsor a squadron in Fort Erie. Within a month the 337 ‘Allan Troup’ Air Cadet Squadron was formed with over 100 cadets. Four Lions Club members were commissioned by the R.C.A.F. to train the squadron.
“Supporting the cadets is something we take a lot of pride in. We have completely funded the Fort Erie Air Cadets for the last 80 years,” since its inception.
And the squadron is growing, “This year, they have about 40 new cadets. One family has five kids in.”
Fort Erie Memorial Arena – Following the collapse of the original Peace Bridge Arena in 1936, the club supported a plan in 1948 for a publicly owned rink. Starting with a donation of $5,000, the club secured pledges of $100,000 for the Town of Fort Erie to build a new arena, debt-free.
Leisureplex – In 1996, the current Leisurplex was built and in recognition of the club’s past contribution to the Memorial Arena, a banquet hall bears the name of the Fort Erie Lions Club.
Lions Douglas Heights Senior Centre – After obtaining land in 1984, the club began to build a seniors community centre. This was phase one of a major project. The centre opened on November 17, 1988.
Lions Douglas Heights Seniors Residence – In the fall of 1988, the club began planning phase two of their project, a 56-unit, affordable, not-for-profit, independent living seniors apartment building on land adjoining the senior centre.
Sugar Bowl Park – in October 1991, the club helped pay for redeveloping the Oakes/Sugar Bowl Park into a recreational area for the community. The park was officially renamed the Lions Sugar Bowl Park.
Supporting Youth – In November 2017 the Fort Erie Lions joined with the Ridgeway Lioness, Ridgeway Lions, Stevensville-Black Creek Lions and The United Way of Niagara Falls & Greater Fort Erie to raise a total of $42,000 for the Greater Fort Erie Secondary School Culinary Program and Pomegranate Restaurant to equip the kitchen in the newly built high school.
New Seniors Residence – In the fall of 2017 the club approved a New Build Committee to investigate the construction of a second affordable, independent living seniors apartment building to be contracted with Niagara Region. Final club approval was given on June 25, 2020, for the committee to take the project to completion. Planning for the construction of the 9-storey, 62-unit affordable seniors apartment building is underway.
Trivia Night – is an event held annually to raise funds for community initiatives. The next fundraising event is scheduled for March 2nd, 2024 starting at 6 PM. Tickets will be on sale in February.
New Sugarbowl Park Pavilion – the Fort Erie Lions along with the Fort Erie Underwater Recovery Unit have pledged funds to support the building of a pavilion as part of the second stage in the town’s transformation of Sugarbowl Park.
The Fort Erie Lions meet at the Lions Douglas Heights Senior Centre located at 265 High Street.”We meet every third Thursday of the month.”
Keith shared, “We have approximately 24 members. Some are not as active and only come out once in a while.” He added, “We want to bring that number up.”
The club is co-ed. They, as other clubs have done, have amalgamated their men and women to create a larger number. Once, there were the Lions and Lionesses.
To contact the Fort Erie Lions Club, email Keith Rothney at firstname.lastname@example.org