The Town of Hay River has awarded a new licence for Chase the Ace, and the lucky organization is the Legion.
“We’re pretty excited,” said Blake Lawrence, the president of Branch 250 of the Royal Canadian Legion.
Lawrence said the Legion is aiming to start the weekly Chase the Ace on Feb. 15.
It will be the fourth Chase the Ace in Hay River. The first was held by the Hay River Curling Club in 2016, followed by two run by the 2018 South Slave Arctic Winter Games Host Society.
Like those other organizations, the Legion is going into Chase the Ace knowing it is a gambling event, and it is impossible to say how much money it will raise.
“We don’t have any goals,” said Lawrence. “We’d like to make enough to get a new boiler system. That would be really nice.”
Plus, he noted the Legion’s roof needs to be redone, but that would be very expensive.
Lawrence also explained that most of the money raised will go back into the community.
“The way the Legion bylaws work is, of all the money that we make, 55 per cent of that has to go into the community trust, which is handed out in donations throughout the year,” he said, adding that applies to Chase the Ace.
Chase the Ace is no stranger to the Legion since the building has already been used for sales and some draws by other organizations. The wrap-up of the previous lottery – in which 11 cards were drawn right down to the final one for a jackpot of $98,906.50 – was held at the Legion on Dec. 7.
Along with a building, the Legion has volunteers.
“We’re banking on the volunteers to help out lots,” said Lawrence.
The Town of Hay River set a deadline of Jan. 23 for organizations to apply for the new licence for Chase the Ace, and it was awarded early last week.
“We had two applicants that were qualified and we completed the matrix assessment, and the Legion scored highest,” said Judy Goucher, the senior administrative officer with the town. “And as a result, they will be awarded the licence.”
She declined to name the other organization which applied.
Goucher is pleased there is still interest in holding Chase the Ace.
“It’s quite a commitment in terms of the volunteer force to do it,” she noted. “So not every organization can take it on. So having two qualified applicant groups is a good sign. And this is the first time that the Legion has done it. We’re optimistic that they will have a successful lottery.”
Goucher said the Legion has the volunteer force and its own facility to host the event.
“I think the setup is good for this type of lottery and I have every expectation that they’ll be successful with it,” she said.
Plus, Goucher noted the Legion is committed to the community.