This year’s faces at the races
Submitted Sept. 3, 2019
To the Editor,
As Head Lake Park awoke early on Saturday, Aug. 17, the “Weather Gods” laughed once more and presented what seems like our annual challenge of intermittent torrential rain.
We proceeded to set up our Haliburton Hospital Auxiliary tent and tables and began to unpack race programs, T-shirts and incredible raffle prizes, all donated by our exceedingly generous local stores and businesses.
Over the course of the weekend we had the opportunity to once more interact not only with the local residents, summer residents, and visitors to our community, but also with the racers, their teams and their families. It seems everyone makes it a point to stop by our tent. Of course, it helps that we hand out the beautifully designed racing programs. But all these fans are also huge fans of the Haliburton Hospital and express their deep appreciation through the purchase of raffle tickets on the many donated items and through their many very generous cash donations to the Haliburton Hospital Auxiliary.
It was so rewarding over the course of the weekend to hear the race announcers talking between races about our wonderful hospital and encouraging all the attendees to get over to the Hospital Auxiliary tent and purchase their raffle tickets. And they did.
Sunday morning as we were once more unpacking and getting set up, a lovely gentleman came by to make a very generous donation to the auxiliary. Harold Wilson, one of the race announcers, explained that the previous evening his wife had won the 50/50 draw at the racers’ banquet at the Pinestone Resort. As Mr. Wilson and his wife were celebrating their 40th wedding anniversary, she decided that she would like to donate her entire winnings to the Hospital Auxiliary. Mr. Wilson spent several minutes talking to us about how much the racers love coming to Haliburton. They not only appreciate the incredibly beautiful scenery, but most of all, the warm welcome they receive from our local businesses, restaurants, hotels and motels. Race organizer, Barb Hammond, organizes this 50/50 draw every year for the Toronto Outboard Racing Club.
Shortly after our conversation with Mr. Wilson, Barb came by our tent with the balance of the 50/50 which was a donation from the Toronto Outboard Racing Club itself. Throughout the weekend, we received more than $750 in cash donations alone.
We had an extra special item to raffle off this year in conjunction with the boat races, and that was a signed Matt Duchene Nashville Predators hockey jersey! To say there was tremendous interest in those tickets would be an understatement. Our community is so proud of Matt Duchene. He is not only an incredible athlete but also a highly respected role model for all those young up and coming hockey players. Raffle tickets for Matt’s signed hockey jersey were totally sold out days before the actual draw.
None of this would have occurred if not for the Herculean efforts of Barb Hammond and the Toronto Outboard Racing Team, major sponsorship from RPM and Youngdale Fuels, as well as many of our other local businesses.
We are a small community and every fundraising effort is a major endeavour. We can never thank our supporters enough for cheering on our many fundraising events. May you never need the exceptional care provided at the Haliburton Hospital but if you do, please know that it was your support of our events that has enabled the Hospital Auxiliary to purchase so many crucial pieces of medical equipment.
As of this date, the proceeds from the Boat Race, raffles and donations of $1,210 from TORC plus a further $800 from race sponsors total more than $7,100.