A sluggish economy and the Fort McMurray wildfire have combined so far to stifle ticket sales for the 2016 Hospitals’ Lottery.
Sales for the annual lottery in support of Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre has stalled at 70 per cent and has put a cardiac project in jeopardy.
Cynthia de Boer, lottery project officer with Red Deer Regional Health Foundation, said ticket sales lagged when tickets were first available in the spring. Normally a significant number of previous ticket buyers automatically support the lottery, but not this year.
Then the wildfire happened.
Often a tragedy, or huge community project, will mean fewer donations to annual fundraising campaigns, she said.
“Donors only have so many charity dollars to give and this year they opted to give to Fort Mac which was very urgent and very important, but at the expense of other charities of which our lottery is one,” de Boer said on Tuesday.
“We’re hoping now that things are perhaps a tiny bit settled in Fort Mac that they will turn their attention back to us now and support us.”
The deadline to buy tickets is June 19, at 11 p.m., for the July 8 draw.
2016 Hospitals’ Lottery features a grand prize three-bedroom bungalow, located at 117 Lazaro Close, valued at $799,000. Other prizes also to be won include a Ford Mustang GT convertible, Dodge 1500 crew cab 4×4, a heli-fishing trip, furniture packages, and much more.
Hospitals’ Mega Bucks 50 tickets are 80 per cent sold. Proceeds from the lottery go towards phase two of the cardiac enhancement project, totally nearly $700,000, for the purchase and installation of more specialized equipment and technology.
De Boer said if the lottery doesn’t sell its 102,000 tickets, phase two would be delayed.
“It’s an all or none kind of thing. We’d have to fund for another year or the money we do have would have to be allocated to something smaller in cardiac care.”
Phase two includes 106 digital clocks in the Emergency Department, Inpatient Cardiology/Telemetry and Cardiac Intensive Care for time-sensitive therapies such as medication; four more hard-wired beds for appropriate monitoring for more cardiac patients; portable monitors for continuously monitoring patients during transportation to other locations for treatment or procedures; renovations to update information technology and fundamental infrastructure for future cardiac programs.
She said most cardiac patients in Central Alberta come to Red Deer hospital and the number of patients is ever increasing.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m concerned. All of Central Alberta is relying on this money to enhance cardiac care so it’s pretty important,” de Boer said.
To buy tickets go to www.hospitalslottery.com or call 1-877-808-9005. Tickets are $35 each, 3 for $75, 5 for $100, or 15 for $250. The grand prize home is open Wednesday to Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.