NEWPORT — The 2nd annual NEVBA Pike Tournament on South Bay turned out to be a very lucky day for one unsuspecting fisherman.
Jonathan Cote didn’t bring in the biggest fish that day, but he did purchase two raffle tickets from the Newport Recreation Committee to support the Gardner Park Playground and Splashpad project.
The tickets led to exciting news a few weeks later.
“We originally planned to raffle an ATV, but decided to go in a different direction after another local organization announced they’d be selling tickets for the community to win a 4-wheeler,” said Jenn Smith, chair of the Newport Recreation Committee. “Someone suggested an ice shack and it seemed like a good fit since we like to encourage outdoor recreation on the Lake.”
The committee, made mostly of non-fisherman, took their cue from member Vaughn Cloney.
“Ice fishing is big in this area and I knew there would be a lot of people interested in getting their hands on one of these shanties,” Cloney said.
The committee specced out a 6×10’ model with extra features like a fold-down table and sliding windows to entice ticket buyers.
“We picked a higher-end shack that people might not spend their own money on, but would give a few bucks for a chance to win, especially for a good cause,” Cloney explained.
Tickets were priced at $25.00 each or two for $40.00.
Once the unit had been delivered, it took less than a month to sell all 300 tickets and raise $2,500 for the Gardner Park Playground & Splashpad project.
The drawing, which was originally scheduled for Newport’s Winter Festival on February 29, was moved up to February 7 and the winner announced live on the radio.
The winning ticket belonged to Jonathan Cote who took home his $5,000 ice shack the following Monday.
The Newport Recreation Committee plans to host another SnoPro Ice Shack raffle next winter as an annual fundraiser for committee projects.
Community members interested in Recreation Committee happenings can visit www.NewportRecreation.org/RECCOMMITTEE or call the Parks & Recreation office at (802)334-6345.Are you on Instagram? Cool. So are we. CLICK HERE to follow us for a behind the scenes look at Newport Dispatch.