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EDITORIAL: Game still on a roll

Games of chance are as old as people learning the concept of counting.

What are the odds that the latest craze in communities, Chase the Ace, would continue its appeal among players?

This mix of a lucky number and a draw from a deck of cards has been a blessing to an array of charitable organizations across the province – no doubt elsewhere in the country – in getting ahead on fundraising. As members of the Trenton legion indicated in an article Friday in The News, the game far surpasses the possibilities of the kind of money you could expect putting on a dance, or a ham dinner.

At the same time, we can appreciate the kind of work that still goes into holding such a weekly event, particularly once jackpots grow and elevate the excitement near and, sometimes, far.

Bingo, of course, has its appeal as a fun little get-together with a chance to win a bit of cash or prizes – and it’s been the standby fundraiser for churches and other organizations over the years.

While Chase the Ace was still relatively unheard of just a few years ago, it caught on in a big way when reports would emerge of a huge jackpot building in some location. A memorable occasion was nearly two years in Cape Breton that built, incredibly, to $1.7 million before a lucky winner drew the ace and took home the pot. Some of the jackpots in Pictou County have also grown to a substantial amount.

That’s the nature of the game, when that Ace of Spades proves elusive – the prize grows each week, it snowballs even more as people in surrounding areas catch wind and come to the event to try their luck.

And like Bingo, it’s a good afternoon or evening out. This is no sitting solo on a stool, pumping quarters into a slot machine. It’s a chance to mingle and socialize, often there’s some entertainment involved as people are purchasing tickets, getting ready for the big draw.

People who work as volunteers trying to raise money for any effort will tell you that it can be difficult, no matter how worthy the cause, there are a lot of them, and there are only so many people and so many spare dollars.

That does give pause for thought – will the shine one day wear off Chase the Ace? Perhaps, but in the meantime it’s helped many essential groups in the community make a lot of headway toward upgrading equipment or making improvements.

The publicity surrounding Chase the Ace should also remind people that these volunteer organizations depend on community support year-round, year after year.

When these events are on, Chase the Ace, Bingo, or what have you, in addition to the few hours of entertainment, it’s a great time for people to get to know about them: some of the valuable functions they perform, their needs and their challenges.

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