The Swan City Rotary Club says it will still try to help local organizations impacted by the cancellation of the 2020 Cash and Camping Lottery. The group confirmed March 24th that it wouldn’t be running this year’s lottery due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser support non-profit groups in the Grande Prairie area, who volunteer to sell tickets.

“I know our club is looking at what options we can do with the resources that we have,” says Committee Chair David Cook. “I hope the community overall steps up and helps those organizations as well.”

The club has raised more than $11 million to support local charities and non-profits over the past 20 years through its lottery events. However, Cook says, due to the uncertainty over the next couple of months, it would be too risky to continue with the event.

“The biggest issue of all is [will] it be a significant impact to our eight partners, as well as the 60 different organizations we support annually through the resources that we raise.”

The committee considered continuing with the event strictly online, but Cook says the majority of funds come through the Cash and Camping building set up in the parking lot of the Great Northern Casino.

“To have our customers respond to make up that difference is quite significant.”

Cook adds the committee is still planning to hold its other annual lottery, Cars for Christmas. He hopes a successful event will mitigate the impact on its partner groups and the local charities they support.

“We understand the focus of the community is dealing with life issues, the downturn in the economy, and public health associated with the virus, but on the same token, we’re not going anywhere. We’re going to come back, and come back strong but we’re going to need the community to help us help the community.”

The event was set to launch online on April 1st and in the tent on April 15th.