Stepping into year two of Chase The Ace with Steinbach & Area Animal Rescue, president Michelle Neufeld has high hopes for the future of the beloved non-profit.
“The excitement built up pretty fast,” she shares, recalling last year’s success. “Word got out so quickly. A lot of people actually didn’t know what the game of Chase The Ace was, so it was really fun explaining it all. Once they knew what it was, a lot of people started coming regularly. We’re really excited to be at Smitty’s again every Monday night. We really have a lot of fun doing it, seeing the same people come, visiting with everybody, and getting to know the staff. Because it was really fun last year.”
Another benefit of this now-yearly event is the chance to educate the community. She shares that many people attending the 2022 Chase The Ace event had not heard of SAAR, nor knew exactly what sort of services they provided, which prompted good conversation. As she is clearly passionate about her work, Neufeld hopes that this year is much the same.
Funds raised will be put towards operational costs, mainly of their new building, which will hopefully be completed before winter. With a larger building comes greater costs, but with extra rooms for the animals, better services, and even a yard where the pups can run around, it will be worth it.
“Even though we got a really tremendously generous grant from the province, we will still have a mortgage,” Neufeld admits. “And operational costs are going up every month.”
While events like Chase The Ace are fun and bring in a lot of exposure, Neufeld says SAAR is still reliant on the support of the community in quieter ways throughout the year. These include one-time and monthly financial donations and volunteers. She especially highlights the importance of foster homes in providing for day-to-day needs.
Chase the Ace with Steinbach & Area Animal Rescue kicks off Monday, September 18th, and runs every Monday, excluding holidays, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Smitty’s in Steinbach. The starting pot is $2,500, and it’s only going up from here. The winning ticket receives 10% of the nightly ticket sales, or 50% of the total pot if the ace of spades is drawn.