If you’re a curling fan, you probably know the annual Tim Hortons Brier, Canada’s national men’s curling championship, was held this year in Brandon, Manitoba. And you probably also know that in the final Alberta defeated Team Wildcard 4-3 by scoring two in the tenth end to win.
I have to confess I know next to nothing about curling. I do know, however, that my friends in Canada are crazy about it, and that’s good enough for me. I also know that this year was the first time since 1995 that the Brier was held in Brandon, and UCT’s local James B. Chrisp Council 448 was incredibly involved – and reaped some sweet benefits from it.
A 50/50 raffle is part of the Brier’s program each year, and since the 2019 event organizer happens to be a member of Council 448, guess who got the honor of selling tickets to the 55,000 people strong crowd during the championship? Yep, 85 council members turned out to cover a total of 22 shifts hawking tickets, shifts that consisted of long hours covering five different kiosks and going up and down countless flights of stairs to get to the folks in the arena.
It all paid off. The group raised an amazing $288,000, $144,000 of that disbursed to lucky ticket holders through 32 different draws and the other $144,000 to be divided among and distributed to the Western Manitoba Curling Foundation, the Riverview Curling Club, the Brandon Curling Club and Council 448. That’s a possible $36,000 left for the council to donate to the many local charities and causes they support. Not a bad haul for a week’s worth of hard work. Oh, and the topper on this event? As a result of talking to ticket purchasers about UCT and what we do and what Council 448 does in the Brandon community, the council gained seven new members! How do you beat that?
Council 448 is a solid example of what nearly every UCT local council strives to be: comprised of members older and younger, well-known and well-respected in the area, and a volunteer/philanthropic force that spends tens of thousands of hours and donates tens of thousands of dollars each year supporting community causes and charities. Kudos to its members for outdoing themselves with this successful effort.
As member Dave Poets simply states, “Brandon is a UCT town.” I’m beginning to understand why. Great job, Council 448!