The Rock Creek Fall Fair (RCFF) exploded expectations for this year’s 50/50 draw, netting over $30,000 apiece for the organization and a lucky ticket-holder from Grand Forks.
Where ticket sales might’ve hit $10,000 in past fairs, General Manager Lisa Sims said this year’s fundraiser brought in nearly $62,000. If prize-winner Shane Zorn was surprised when his ticket came out of the barrel Saturday, Sept. 18, it’s a wonder Sims was able to contain herself at all.
“My hope going into this was that we would be able to raise about $15,000, with the fair and the winner each taking home $7,500,” she told The Times.
Ticket sales, begun in late April, were bearing out her modest projection, climbing to just under $22,000 by late August. Sales began to skyrocket on Aug. 26, when the fair announced it was cancelling in-person events due to COVID-19 restrictions.
That’s when Sims said, “People came out in droves to support us, knowing that not being able to have a year for the second year in a row would have a serious financial impact” on the non-profit Rock Creek Fall Fair Society.
Sales jumped yet again when, on the night before the draw, Sims went back and forth with her husband before making one last post to the fair’s Facebook page. Of the 14,500 tickets issued under their BC Gaming licence, there weren’t enough remaining tickets for package deals of 10 for $50, but there were still some to be had.
His advice was simple and to the point: “Don’t leave any money on the table. Do another post.”
“Things were crazy” when she arrived at her officer Saturday morning. “I couldn’t print the orders off fast enough,” she said, explaining that it took seven volunteers to ready the last batch of tickets before the afternoon draw.
Sims said the Rock Creek Fall Fair & Boundary Association had earmarked some of this year’s funds for ongoing upgrades to the fairgrounds. Next, the association will look at buying event supplies they would normally rent every fall, like tents and other items.
This year’s impressive draw owes hugely to the following businesses who sold tickets on the fair’s behalf: Rock Creek’s Candy Cabin, Freeman’s Country Supply, Riverside Centre and Trading Post and Greenwood’s Heritage Credit Union. Tickets were also sold at the Rock Creek and Osoyoos farmers’ markets, according to Sims.