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Fundraiser results in $10,000 for Twillingate/New World Island Christmas Hamper Fund

TWILLINGATE, NL — Christmas came a bit early in Twillingate and for an unsuspecting tourist from Ontario.

In this case we would have to say that Santa was played by Ernie Watkins. Watkins has raised funds every summer for the past four years for local charities. This year he decided he would do a 50/50 draw, selling tickets at Waterside Fish Market and Twillingate/New World Island Dinner Theatre.

“I couldn’t have been more overwhelmed by the response,” he said. “In just the first two weeks we had sold $6,000 worth of tickets - it was unbelievable.

“It warms the heart to see that the people of the town and the tourists that visit don’t mind giving.”

just seven weeks, with the help of his family and employees they raised a grand total of $20,000.

“I really have to acknowledge Jody Hale,” Watkins said. “He gave up seven weeks of his break to sell the tickets because he was a firm believer in the cause.”

The draw was held during the break in the final performance of this year’s dinner theatre. Fifty per cent of the funds are going towards the Twillingate/New World Island Christmas Hamper Fund. The winner of the draw, Julian West of Ontario, will be receiving his early Christmas present of $10,000.

“I was absolutely surprised,” West told the Pilot. “I will be helping my kids out with their education and saving a bit for a vacation.”

West was on vacation in Twillingate when he bought the ticket. Originally from Grand Falls-Windsor, he was staying at his sister Dianne Dove’s B&B when he bought the winner.

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