The night before the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Dream of a Lifetime Lottery draw, Tanya Lalonde and her family had a setback when their van struck a deer.
Lalonde, is currently on leave from her job at the University of Ottawa, where she works at the school’s office of Indigenous Affairs and is co-ordinator of the Mashkawazìwogamig Indigenous Resource Centre. The Métis-Cree wife and mother of three is studying for her Master’s Degree at McGill University, and commutes from her home in Gatineau to Montreal to attend classes.
“We were thinking, you know, with us living on one income and me going to school, it was like, how are we going to afford a new car?” she told Ka’nhehsí:io Deer, a reporter with CBC Indigeous.
Lalonde held the winning number (ticket number, 10101971) and was announced as the winner of the $3.2 million package in the annual CHEO fundraising lottery. Lalonde visited the Minto Dream Home at 364 Flare Grove, Manotick for a first look at her brand-new dwelling January 5. The four-bedroom home has 4,300 square feet and is fully decorated.
The Grand Prize package includes a Minto Dream Home fully furnished by La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Décor, bi-weekly cleaning for one year from ATC Cleaning, $100,000 in cash, a 2023 Mustang Mach – E California Route 1, fully electric from Donnelly Ford Lincoln Ltd. (or $74,000 cash), a $5,000 Farm Boy gift card, 50 gas cards of $100 (total value of $5,000) from W.O. Stinson & Son Ltd., and moving services from Adam’s Moving and legal services from Mann Lawyers LLP.
The CHEO Dream of a Lifetime Lottery also offered many other prizes. Ticket holders can check online at www.dreamofalifetime.ca to see if they won a prize. All official winners will receive a confirmation letter from MNP LLP detailing how to claim their prize.
This year, the jackpot for the 50/50 draw reached a total of $2,572,970. The winner of the 50/50 Draw is Joy Clark, ticket number 30219690, who will take home $1,286,485.
Lalonde told CBC Indigenous that she was grateful for the unexpected blessing of winning the lottery. She added that winning felt extra special as an intergenerational survivor of residential schools and as someone who grew up in the child welfare system, bouncing between many different homes. Lalonde’s family is from Buffalo Lake Métis Settlement and Saddle Lake Cree Nation in Alberta, but she grew up in care since the age of two.
CHEO stated that proceeds from the lottery are used to purchase equipment, conduct research, support programs and fund urgent needs at the hospital.
“We are grateful to our sponsors, trades and suppliers who have participated in making this lottery so successful,” said Steve Read, President and CEO, CHEO Foundation. “And most of all, we want to say thank you to our generous community. By purchasing tickets, you are directly making a difference in the lives of the children, youth and families who rely on CHEO.”
(Featured Image: CHEO Dream of a Lifetime Lottery winner Tanya Lalonde visited her new home in Manotick with her husband David and their three children Lexi, Emmi and Luka. With them in the photo is CHEO Foundation CEO Steve Read. Photo courtesy of CHEO)