ELK POINT – More than 30 vehicles, their occupants eager to collect the winning cards on 74 poker hands, set off from the Canada Day stage in Elk Point on Saturday morning on a 330 km journey that would take them to five other communities to collect their hands and see the sights before returning to Elk Point.
This was the fourth annual Summer Poker Rally for the Elk Point Auto Club, and as last year, participants were urged to make purchases in the communities they visited and enter their purchase receipts for a long lineup of door prizes from local or area businesses.
Their first stop was St. Paul, where the Royal Canadian Legion members invited them to view their collection of memorabilia. Then it was off to Two Hills, where those who enjoyed ice cream were able to enter for a gift basket that included two rounds at their golf club, ranked one of the top five in Alberta and won by one of the ladies in the rally.
Vegreville was the next stop, and Myron Hayduk’s collection at The Garage museum, open for this special occasion wowed the visitors before they headed east to Manville’s Confectionery 881 where the winning draw entrant, Ed Smith, won 8.81 times his entry for a total of $176.20, that visit hosted by Mannville Elks Lodge.
Vermilion, where participants were warned that their stop was at the hard-to-find fire hall, was a lucky stop for Don Anderson, who won $100 in their 50/50 draw.
That was the last stop before Elk Point, where they picked the final cards for their poker hand. Poker rally supervisor Bonnie Smyl Joly said she tallied a hand of two kings and three jacks in the first 10 minutes of returning vehicles, and a full house of three queens and two kings shortly after. However, it was one of the last cards to be tallied that won the $740 prize, Robert Schmidt turning in a four of a kind.
Returning to Elk Point, all entrants who brought items to add to two brimming containers of donations of food and toiletries for Elk Point Helping Hands received draw slips to add to their purchase receipts for the door prize draws. Two lucky ladies, Kara Staples and Debbie Thomas, won three prizes and Betty Dunham two, with single prizes going to Mark Thomas, Leonard Slipchuk, Debbie Slipchuk, Lynall Slywka, Terry Charters, Adam Craft, Marge Thomas, Carla Ganske and John Huigsloot.