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Licensed activities such as poker tournaments and bingos are just two of many activities that can generate a provincial grant. Photo by Creeden Martell.

Saskatchewan’s charitable endeavours have a few more pennies in the pot. The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Association recently handed out approximately $1.5 million in charitable gaming grants to over 700 organizations and groups across Saskatchewan.

 

Groups fundraising through licensed charitable gaming activities such as bingos, lotteries, or poker tournaments received a grant equal to 25 per cent of net proceeds raised.

 

SLGA spokesperson David Morris explained the process with a simple and concise example. “If a group raised $1,000, they would receive $250 back,” Morris said.

 

Licensed fundraisers do not have to apply for the grants, either. Once the fundraising numbers are submitted, the SLGA automatically calculates the figures and a grant issued on a quarterly basis.

 

Organizations can put the money toward upkeep of facilities like hockey rinks or building new facilities, for example.

 

The SLGA handed out 155 grants in Regina alone. The value of the 155 grants is over $300,000.

 

Regina grant recipients included the Regina Big Brothers Association, which received $4,544. Bright Eyes Dog Rescue received a grant of $2,260. Carmichael Outreach received $2,482.

 

The Foam Lake Recreation Centre in Foam Lake, Sask. received a grant of $31,757.

 

Jaime Helgason, leisure services director for Foam Lake, explained that a Combine Lotto was responsible for the grant. “Without this granting scheme, our facilities would cease to run without other major fundraising,” Helgason said.

 

Helgason said Foam Lake’s grants help facilities such as the community hall, the golf and country club, and the recreational centre. “It’s nice to have,” she said. “Not a lot of communities have that guaranteed income.”

 

“One bigger project is better than 50 bake sales,” Helgason concluded.

 

Northern communities also benefit from such programs.

 

Vince Natomagan explained how this process helps a local Pinehouse Lake community radio station CFNK. Money is raised through licensed activities such as bingos and the grant helps pay Michif-speaking DJs for CFNK.

 

The money received also helps pay for bingo callers, bingo cards, radio equipment, rent for the facilities, and any basic necessities to keep operating.

 

“We would have zero income if not for these,” Natomagan said.