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Library fundraiser a sold-out affair New raffle

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The Little Beaver Snow Park was full of Irish cheer Saturday evening as the Fort Frances Public Library’s “Building for the Future” campaign staged its successful “Celtic Connection” fundraiser.

The sold-out event raised about $2,300 for the new library, campaign chair Mark Kowalchuk noted Monday, bringing their fundraising total to over $421,000.

Kowalchuk added the campaign committee was pleasantly surprised to see all the tickets for the evening sold before last Thursday—and views that as an indicator of public support for the proposed new library.

“We had people phoning up for tickets at all hours of the day, right up until Saturday evening,” he said. “We expect the tickets for the next event [in February] will go even more quickly now knowing that there’s so much interest in the fundraising efforts and what we are doing to promote the new library.”

The evening was filled with Irish stew (made with Guinness), pints of Guinness, Irish coffee, and Celtic tunes courtesy of the Mud Lake City Boys (Jim Avis, Jim Newman, Bill Shine, and Bill McEvoy).

There also was a penny auction.

“People came, had supper, and then they sat around and enjoyed the music,” said Kowalchuk. “Everybody was reluctant to go home. The band played for quite a while.

“We had a good time singing along; some people were dancing.”

Kowalchuk added Saturday night’s event also saw the launch of the “Building for the Future” elimination draw.

“The first tickets went on sale at the event. There’s lots of interest,” he noted. “We think these are going to sell quickly.

“People that were buying them Saturday night weren’t just buying one ticket—they were buying two and three tickets at a time.

“We’re quite encouraged by the support we’re getting, certainly by the excitement that we saw Saturday night,” added Kowalchuk.

The tickets, which cost $50, are on sale now at the library (they also may be sold elsewhere in the near future).

A total of 1,000 tickets will be sold, with 20 prizes eligible to be won.

The draws all will take place Feb. 23 during a fundraiser evening, with a live band and attendance prizes, at the Memorial Sports Centre auditorium.

It is called an “elimination raffle” because every ticket will be drawn. Tickets will be drawn in batches of 50, with the 50th from each batch winning the prize allocated for that batch (the winning ticket and the 49 before it will not be included in the next batch).

With 20 prizes up for grabs, that means 20 batches of 50 tickets will be drawn over the course of the evening.

The prizes will range from $10,000 to a 32” LCD TV, laptop computer, gold chain, leather recliner, a home theatre system, and a Nintendo Wii.

The tickets make a great Christmas present, said Kowalchuk, adding “snowbirds” who want to buy tickets but won’t be in Fort Frances for the draws on Feb. 23 need not worry—if they win something, the “Building for the Future” committee will make sure they get it.

Meanwhile, the “Building for the Future” fundraising campaign is reminding the public that the end of the 2007 tax year is coming up soon, and is more heavily promoting that now is the right time to donate towards the building of the new library.

People can look at a five-year commitment when giving (whether they give it all at once, right up front, or whether they spread it out) and to donate what they feel is feasible or possible for them based on that criteria.

Payment options, like Mastercard, VISA, or automatic deductions from your paycheque, are available.

All donations over $25 will be issued a tax receipt.

Those who want to give should call the library at 274-9879 or drop by in person to get a pledge card.

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