CTMHV welcomes in 2020, presents keys to raffle car winner

by Garrett Fodor

The calendar year has wrapped up, but not before the Canadian Transportation Museum & Heritage Village (CTMHV) held its annual New Year’s Eve dinner, dance, and car raffle. 

  For the last 17-years, the CTMHV has sold tickets for a classic roast beef and chicken dinner for New Year’s Eve. The dinner is one of its largest fundraisers for their Children’s Education Program. The program has a full-time teacher on staff and has over 12,000 students come to the grounds annually. The dinner and dance also features live entertainment from DJ Chuck Reynolds and a cash bar.

  According to Jessica Topham, Event and Media Coordinator at the CTMHV, the event has grown and is a highlight for many each year.

  “It is a lot of fun. People like it. A lot of people come back,” Topham said of the event. “We have a lot of big tables of friends [who] come meet, and then we have large mixed tables and people that you know make your friends every year. Each year, we see a lot of familiar faces, but a lot of new ones come around, too.”

  Topham said nearly 200 people attend the dinner and dance annually. She said people enjoy the music and the meal, while also being able to attend and be home before midnight. 

Photo submitted from CTMHV.  Chairperson Harry Bergman congratulates Belle River resident, Judy Newman, on winning the 2019 car raffle, a 1983 Mustang. Proceeds from the Museum’s annual car raffle support its Children’s Education Program.

  The dinner also featured a 50/50 and other raffles the attendees could participate in for a chance to win prizes and gift baskets.

  The night concluded with one of the CTMHV’s largest fundraiser of the year for its Children’s Education Program; the annual car raffle. Every year, the CTMHV raffles off a different classic car, selling tickets throughout the year. The raffle nearly sells out or sells out annually. This year’s prize was a 1983 Ford Mustang Convertible. 

  Judy Newman of Belle River was the lucky winner. Harry Bergman, Chairperson of the CTMHV, was thrilled to hand her the keys to her new ride during the New Year’s Eve event as Newman attended the party.

  This was the first time in the annual raffle’s history where the car prize winner was onsite during the draw. Bergman was thrilled a local Museum supporter won the 2019 car raffle prize.


A look at the 2020 CTMHV Annual Car Raffle prize, a 1962 Ford Thunderbird. 

Also announced that night was what car the CTMHV will be raffling off next year, a 1962 Ford Thunderbird. Tickets will go on sale for this classic car shortly, and the winner will be drawn on December 31, 2020.

The CTMHV, Bergman added, attracts thousands upon thousands of visitors each year, making is a top local tourist and education destination. 

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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