Calumet Curling Club members. (Note: photo was taken pre-COVID-19). (Facebook photo)

Calumet Curling Club members. (Note: photo was taken pre-COVID-19). (Facebook photo)

Calumet Curling Club wins $20k in 50/50 draw at Scotties

Small curling club between Ponoka and Bashaw wins big

Holly Riske and the Calumet Curling Club won $20,950 in a record 50/50 draw on Feb. 27 at the 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. The Scotties was held from Feb. 19 to 28 at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary.

Curling is more than just a game. It is often a key part of the social fabric in communities across Alberta. That is certainly the case for the Calumet Curling Club and their team of volunteers and directors.

“We have a little two sheet curling rink in our community, completely run by volunteers and of course,

with no curling this year, no bonspiel – which is kind of our number one fundraiser for the year — it was looking a little bleak. Now it’s not,” laughed Riske.

Riske and fellow directors Blaine Ravnsborg, Eric Bloomquist, Rick Massing, Dan Lea, Dustin Krzywy, Ola Olson, Craig Massing, Kelly Dux and Lonny Olson decided to go in together and buy tickets for Saturday’s draw.

“We put in $20 each with the intent that if we win, we donate it to the rink and it can live to see

another day,” said Riske. “And it is.”

Saturday was the day to play, and Riske initially bought $50 worth of tickets, followed by another $50 fifteen minutes later during the first draw. She followed the same pattern during the second one.

Her strategy paid off as she woke up this morning to find out they held the winning ticket.

“I had to look at the ticket five times and I called my husband and told him I think we won,” said Riske.

“We have a group text for our directors, so I sent out a message to them telling them, ‘wake up you guys, I think we got it.’”

Established in 1954, the Calumet Curling Club has inspired this loyalty and dedication that made winning this jackpot possible. Situated between Ponoka and Bashaw, the club’s annual men’s bonspiel attracts 32 rinks and is run for an entire week. They also host a popular mixed doubles bonspiel, funspiels, and social nights throughout the season.

”This is grassroots curling in Alberta,” said Curling Alberta in a release.

“People and communities like the Calumet Curling Club are what makes the spirit of curling shine so brightly. Congratulations to Holly and her fellow directors. You truly are curling rock stars and exemplify the growth, access, development and leadership of curling right here in Alberta.”

Tickets will be available for purchase daily from March 5 to 14 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. MST at curlingalberta.ca/5050. While ticket-buyers do not have to live in Alberta to win, they must be in Alberta at the time of purchase and over the age of 18 to participate. (AGLC Licence No. 570518).

– Submitted by Curling Alberta