NEWPORT — Local ice fisherman David Perron is walking away with an early birthday gift this year after his wife purchased two tickets in his name for the Newport Recreation Committee’s SnoPro Ice Shack raffle.
Perron was shopping at Walmart last Saturday when he got the call that his name was drawn as the winner at neighboring Wright’s Sport Shop.
The shack is a spacious 6×10’ model, fully insulated, with extras including a fold-down table and sliding windows.
Perron says he is excited to get on the lake with his new toy, although he admits it may not be this year.
“I’m not liking the look of the weather,” he said, suggesting that lake ice was already thinning in some areas.
The Newport Recreation Committee says they had reservations about how the pandemic might have impacted the community’s ability to support the contest.
“Last year tickets sold out an entire month before the drawing date, but we still had reservations about purchasing the shack knowing there was a chance tickets might not sell as well this year,” said Jenn Smith, chair of the Newport Recreation Committee.
During a discussion at their December meeting, some members suggested that ice fishing might actually grow in popularity this winter as one of the few activities compatible with restrictions.
“We took a vote and the committee decided that with an early jump on sales, they were confident they could sell the 300 entries by the end of February.”
Smith says sales were slow at first but picked up quickly once the shack was on display at ticket locations.
After the cost of the shanty, the fundraiser brought in $2,695 total for the Gardner Park Playground & Splashpad Project.
The Newport Recreation Committee plans to host the SnoPro Ice Shack raffle again next year with tickets on sale beginning December, priced at $25 each or two for $40.
Community members interested in Recreation Committee happenings can visit www.NewportRecreation.org/RECCOMMITTEE or call the Parks & Recreation office at 802-334-6345.