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Group Health Centre explains reasoning behind decision to extend Big Wish Lottery

'The decision to request this extension from the AGCO was not one we made lightly,' says, Alex Lambert, GHC President & CEO
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Group Health Centre. File photo, Darren Taylor/SooToday

On Jan. 12, the Group Health Centre announced its decision to extend the Big Wish Lottery to Feb. 15. 

As result of this decision, the organization received inquires from supporters looking for more information on this decision. 

The following is a press release from the Group Health Centre explaining their decision:

On Jan. 12, 2022, the Group Health Centre (GHC) Trust Fund announced that it had received approval from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) to extend its annual fundraiser, the Big Wish Lottery, to Feb. 15, 2022. The GHC Trust Fund requested this extension after the province returned to a modified Stage Two of its Roadmap to Reopen.                                                                                                  

Since that announcement, the GHC Trust Fund has received several inquiries from supporters looking for more information on the rationale behind this decision. Recognizing is it unusual to change the date of a lottery draw after the lottery has already started, the GHC Trust Fund wanted to take this opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings and provide their supporters and the community with as much information as possible surrounding this decision.

“The decision to request this extension from the AGCO was not one we made lightly,” says, Alex Lambert, GHC President & CEO. “The Big Wish Lottery is the GHC Trust Fund’s single most significant fundraiser of the year.  So, when the province announced the return to a Modified Stage Two, it made the majority of our in-person ticket locations inaccessible, as we were forced to pull out of many locations because those businesses were required to meet capacity limits or were not able to open to the general public. This had a significant impact on our ability to complete the fundraiser as planned and raise the funds needed to support health care delivery across the Algoma District.” 

The GHC Trust Fund is making refunds available for any Big Wish Lottery Tickets purchased (online or in-person) between December 1st, 2021 and January 14th, 2022. To request a refund for an eligible ticket, please contact the Group Health Centre Trust Fund office by 4:30 p.m. EST on Friday, Feb. 4, 2022. This deadline ensures sufficient time to process the refund and remove the entry from the system.

“We hope this explanation provides some insight into why GHC requested this extension,” says, Tricia Lesnick, GHC Trust Fund Manager. “This extension was necessary if this fundraiser was going to raise the funds needed to support the delivery of health care in our community, as all the proceeds from of Trust Fund activities go towards purchasing urgently needed medical equipment.”

For more information on 2021/2022’s Big Wish Lottery, or to purchase a ticket, please visit the GHC Trust Fund website, or contact the team at 705-759-5530