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Nothing like Home Sweet Home draw

BY KIM ST. EVE This is the last year for Sudbury?s Home Sweet Home Sweepstakes. The Kinsmen Club of Walden, a non-profit community group, has organized the house draw for 17 years and is sad to say goodbye to the yearly event.
BY KIM ST. EVE

This is the last year for Sudbury?s Home Sweet Home Sweepstakes.

The Kinsmen Club of Walden, a non-profit community group, has organized the house draw for 17 years and is sad to say goodbye to the yearly event.
?With about 90 per cent of us being stressed and unable to sleep, it just becomes impossible to do this event without public support,? says Walden Kinsmen Ron O?Hearn.

?We do this voluntarily and most of us have jobs outside of this, so it becomes too much when struggling to cover the costs of this event.?

As of March 25, the Home Sweet Home Sweepstakes has only sold 2,500 tickets at $100 each. Ticket sales end June 13. To be in the clear, another 2,300 tickets must be sold in order to reach the necessary $490,000 needed to cover costs.

The first year of the sweepstakes was a novelty to most people and the tickets sold easily, O?Hearn says. They made a profit of $120,000, which went to Walden Seniors and Library Complex.

?The costs have nearly doubled since we began on 1988,? O?Hearn says. ?It?s just so much harder to keep up with competition.

?Now with all the competition in Toronto, like Princess Margaret and Sick Kids, smaller fundraisers that can?t give out millions in prizes are
suffering. That means we can?t give back to our community and so the community suffers too in the long run.?

In the past, by selling 3,000 tickets, the event would have raised $120,000. Now, with costs going up, 6,000 tickets need to be sold to raise that same amount of money.

Advertising the sweepstakes each year costs the Walden Kinsmen about $50,000, plus the construction and maintenance of the house. If the minimum amount of tickets were not sold, without insurance to cover the house and related costs, the Kinsmen would have to pay the difference out of their own pockets.

?We do this every year because we honestly want to give back to our community,? says O?Hearn. ?When we?re done with this we hope to continue to contribute to Sudbury by volunteering for things like Meals on Wheels.?

Instead of giving money to organizations like Northern Cancer Research Foundation or Cystic Fibrosis, the Walden Kinsmen plan on participating in their fundraising activities every year.

?We just want to make this community a little better today than it was yesterday.?

The service group has distributed almost $2 million to local charities from house draw revenues.

The Home Sweet Home Sweepstakes house is located at 2 Mission Hill, just off Algonquin Road.

For more information, phone 523-2332 or 1-888-33-8141.

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