Pandemic uncertainty still hovers over the Prince George Spruce Kings and they still don’t know for sure when they will start the new season in B.C. Hockey League.
One thing is for certain, as it has been the previous 38 years, one lucky ticket holder is going to win a house in the Spruce Kings Show Home Lottery.
The community-owned team launched its biggest annual fundraiser on Friday, with Liz Bennett on board as the new manager of the 39th edition of the Show Home Lottery. Bennett was born and raised in the city and knows what the lottery means to Prince George residents, who buy tickets on the draw every year to show their support for their beloved Spruce Kings.
The lottery is even more crucial to the team’s bottom line during the pandemic because there are no games and even they were playing the restriction on arena crowd sizes means there are no fans buying tickets to watch the Kings play.
“It’s a weird time in the world right now and it’s the time where we have to support the community to keep small businesses operational and keep teams like ours afloat, we need to support local,” said Bennett.
“This year we still have expenses for the team but whether we play or not is still in question, so we need the community behind because we still have bills. The show home is our biggest financial support. That’s how we pay for the guys to eat and stay in hotel rooms and pay for hockey sticks, and we still want to be able to have a season, so we need money coming in.”
Bennett, a 29-year-old certified personal trainer who has her own professional fitness business, Liz Bennett Lifestyles, has a history of backing community initiatives, having served as a board member with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Tourism Prince George and the Prince George Iceman Society.
“We are happy to have Liz on board for this year’s edition of the Show Home,” said Spruce Kings business operations manager Kyle Anderson. “Her professionalism, creativity, and community connections are very valuable in what has been a challenging year.”
The fully-furnished 2,600 square foot home, built by Hopson Construction, is across the street from the Aberdeen Glen Golf Course at 2754 Links Dr. Furnishings are provided by Theory Hardware, with appliances from Andres Electronics. The home is valued at $670,000.
“It’s gorgeous, it has a modern kitchen design that is beautiful, it’s very trendy and bold, in a gorgeous way, said Bennett. “I’ve never seen a kitchen this bold, with dark countertops and dark wood cabinetry. It’s stunning. Hopson Construction always has an eye for the little components of design to make every room stand out. It’s an open concept and very bright, with nice views.
“The structure of the exterior is different. There are lot more lines and it’s wider, not as tall as some of the other designs. There’s a front deck and a back deck.”
The house has three bedrooms, one of which is in the basement, which has been developed to include a family room, laundry room, bathroom and craft room/office.
The show home grand prize draw will happen on April 30, 2021. The first of three early-bird draws, a package that includes 100 tickets for the team’s Mega 50-50 lottery provided by Spruce Credit Union, as well as a mountain bike/gift certificate from PB Sports and Evolve and restaurant gift certificates, takes place on Jan. 1.
The Kings’ have also launched the first of two Mega 50-50 jackpot draws worth up to $100,000 each. The first draw will be on Feb. 12 and the second will happen April 30.
Proceeds from the show home lottery annually provide more than half of the team’s annual operating budget. Last year’s draw, which was extended by a month due to the pandemic, was a complete sellout. Show Home tickets are $125 each, which will about cover the cost of a hockey stick. The 50-50 tickets cost $25 each, the price of a restaurant meal for a player on the road.
Tickets are available online at sprucekingsshowhome.ca or by phone at 1-855-962-4946. Bennett said there will be no in-person ticket sales until the provincial health office lifts its current restrictions on gatherings. A virtual 360 tour of the house will soon be available on the lottery website.