Eston Ramblers fans can buy 50/50 tickets for a good cause on Friday night.

The Ramblers senior hockey team is welcoming in Outlook at 8:00 PM, and will be donating their portion of the game's 50/50 to the Eston Lions 95 Community Christmas hampers program. 

Proceeds from the game should go a long way towards the club's bottom line in building the hampers. A final balance will be available after the donation period closes on Monday. 

President of the Eston Lions Shannon Beckstrand is looking forward to a packed house at the Eston AGT Arena. 

"Taking donations up until November 27, and hopefully by the first week of December we can hand them out."

The annual program helps out more people than you would think in the small town.

"We usually hand them out to about 130 individuals, families included in that, and we have done it for years. All of the community is so good and helpful to raise money for us." said Beckstrand, as the club does fundraise throughout the year, but any amount helps.

Beckstrand mentioned cheques and e-transfer as their main forms of donations. Money seems to be king for the group as in years past they have focused more on grocery gift cards. Collection cups for extra donations are set up around various businesses in town. 

"They can e-transfer me, anything over $25 is tax receipted. The Town of Eston is helping with that, they issue the receipts for us," said Beckstrand. "Then once we get a balance of the total amount, we kind of divy it up to how many people are on the hamper that year."

They are reaching out to the community for donations, but also to seek out those who need the hampers the most. 

"People can phone me and ask for somebody to be put on the hamper list. Just give me their address, and a phone number so I can connect with them in about two weeks from now." said the president who's contact information is available above. 

Even though the cutoff date of November 27 is necessary, Beckstrand says their accounts are always open for donations. Money could trickle into the end of December, but that just gives a head-start on the next year of planning.

"It's a yearly thing, and we're getting better at it every year."

Anybody worried about privacy concerns should know that of the 40+ members on the Lions executive, only less than a handful are involved with the planning and distributing of the hampers. They want to make the process as private as possible.

"Sometimes donations are private, and it's completely a private affair that our whole club of 43 women don't know who is on the list. It's a privacy thing." said Beckstrand as in the recent months they have been assisted through $500 from SaskEnergy, and fundraisers like a bake sale have helped out as well.

Holiday fun coming up in Eston when the calendar flips to December will only add to their total.

"We have Santa Claus Day at our AGT Community Complex on December 2. Kind of a minor sports day, lots of hockey games, Santa comes, and we do a fancy cake bingo." explained Beckstrand. "Our Lions club makes about 25 cakes, fancy cakes decorated up for the kids, and if you win at bingo you take a cake home. All proceeds from that also go to the hampers."

Whether you want to support the hampers at tonight's hockey game, through a personal donation, or by waiting to play some bingo; the Eston 95 Lions know the support is there and will use that community spirit for any future endeavours. 

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