What was a major fundraising event in Hay River, the Auction for Education, is returning as a raffle after not taking place in 2020.

The fundraiser by the Parent Action Committees (PACs) at the four schools in Hay River was not held last year because of Covid-19.

In fact, the Auction for Education has only been held once — in 2019 — when both an auction and raffle took place.

Last year, there was only going to be a raffle.

“We had changed it up and we were going to do a raffle on one year and then the auction on the following year,” said Lynnette Moore-Walters, a PAC member and an organizer of the fundraising event. “So then it was some money coming in each time and not as much commitment from the parents. Both of them are a lot of work and so this way it would kind of spread it out a little bit. And then Covid hit, and the auction raffle was postponed.”

The tickets for the raffle that was initially supposed to be drawn last year will now go into a draw on June 18.

“These are the same tickets that we had from June of last year and the town extended our licence so that we could continue on until June of this year,” said Moore-Walters.

She said it was not possible to sell tickets last year after Covid-19 with everything quiet and people in their bubbles.

Sales resumed again in earnest after Christmas.

“And the tickets are starting to sell again,” said Moore-Walters. “People are starting to know they’re out there.”

In fact, she said that the tickets have actually been on sale since last year.

“We’ve all carried the tickets for the last year with us. So we’ve been trying to sell all along,” she said. “But it’s just been slow and people have just not done it due to the Covid restrictions.”

The top prize in the raffle is a $10,000 shopping spree, while the second prize is a three-piece sleeper sectional and third prize is two return air tickets to Edmonton.

Moore-Walters said the top prize is designed to give back to Hay River businesses for their support over the years to youth in the community.

The top winner gets to spend the $10,000 prize at up to 10 local businesses.

The tickets, at $10 each, are available on the Auction for Education Facebook page, from PAC members and at a number of other outlets.

The goal is to raise about $30,000 to distribute to the four schools — Diamond Jenness, Princess Alexandra, Harry Camsell and Ecole Boreale.

Moore-Walters said it is anticipated that the fundraiser will return next year as an actual auction.

In 2019 as an auction and raffle, the event raised about $70,000.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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