Last year’s cruise winner Debbie Longbottom

Kaatza Child Care Society raises $4,000 with cruise raffle

With the final few raffle tickets purchased a few minutes before the winner was drawn, the Kaatza Child Care Society raised $4,000 with this year's raffle.

With the final few raffle tickets purchased a few minutes before the winner was drawn, the Kaatza Child Care Society raised $4,000 with this year’s raffle.

Sooke resident Lynda Garbutt was named the winner during the society’s season-closing barbecue event. Her prize is a cruise to Mexico, Alaska, the Caribbean, or a credit to go to New England.

“It’s been a huge fund-raiser for the day care,” Cowichan Lake Community Services counsellor Amanda Sawatzky said, before last year’s winner, Debbie Longbottom, drew this year’s winning name.

Longbottom used last year’s win to go to Alaska.

The raffle has been open to the public for a few months, with volunteers setting up a table at the Country Grocer, and elsewhere, during weekends.

The $4,000 raised through the raffle will not go toward anything new or flashy, but toward basic operating costs, to help keep child care rates as low as possible.

As a result of a lack of funding, the rates were raised in February of last year; something the child care centre’s head supervisor Wendy Fetchko would prefer to put off doing again for as long as possible.

“It’s about keeping it affordable,” she said.

Fetchko said that a recent $1,000 grant from the Town of Lake Cowichan has helped a lot, but that they still need ongoing support from the community.

In addition to accepting donations, the non-profit organization accepts a number of items, which they exchange for cash. These include;

• Till tapes from the Lake Cowichan Country Grocer. The grocery store donates one per cent of all purchases, as per the amount on till tapes collected.

• Recyclables that can be returned for money, such as cans and bottles, are accepted at any time.

• Campbell’s Soup labels are collected, through the Labels for Education program.

Once a certain number of labels are collected, items can be ordered through a catalogue.

• UPC labels from Island Farms products result in a 3¢ donation per label collected.

• Canadian Tire money is accepted, with the society then redeeming the money at Canadian Tire in Duncan.

“These things are ongoing, so it helps,” Fetchko said.

The society is now looking to September, during which time all-day Kindergarden has resulted in a lowered enrollment.

“The more children we have, the better we do,” Fetchko said, adding that there are still plenty of spots open in the fall.

The Kaatza Child Care Centre is located above Cowichan Lake Community Services, on Point Ideal Road.

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