Chase the Ace for a cause in Flandreau

Holist Sutton draws a ticket for the Chase the Ace event held in Flandreau.

A group that helps others in need is hoping a popular game of chance will help raise money after a year of few fundraising opportunities.
The Team of Angels started a Chase the Ace drawing at Bar X Bar a month ago, which is basically a progressive 50-50 game. As of this week, there is $2,800 in the pot plus sales from this week to potentially give away. If a winner draws an ace of clubs, they get half the money.
The Team of Angels provides Moody County residents who need help up to $750 a year to reimburse for transportation costs to medical appointments.
While the organization has had some donors during the past year, they haven’t been able to host fundraisers because of COVID-19 concerns.
“The money we raise is going to go exactly to what we’re already doing,” said Holist Sutton, organizer. “Normally we do four to five breakfasts a year. I don’t think we’ve done one in quite a while.”
Here’s how the game works: Participants buy one ticket for $5 or five for $20 between 5:30 and 7 p.m. each Thursday. One ticket is drawn at 7:30 p.m. and that person wins 10 percent of that night’s ticket sales and the chance to draw from the deck of cards. Each week, one card is drawn and removed from the deck. If the ticket winner draws the ace of clubs, they win half of the progressive pot. The Team of Angels keeps the other half.
Bar X Bar also has sponsored the four queens in the deck, giving anyone a $25 bar tab if they draw a queen.
Sutton said organizers are hoping the game lasts many weeks and the pot grows. Some other communities have pots that have grown large, with Faulkton hosting a game that has more than $600,000 in the pot, for example.
“There’s some pretty good ones,” Sutton said.
As the pot grows, so does the crowd and participation, typically.
In preparation for the game potentially continuing, he has gotten permission from the Flandreau City Council to allow the crowd to spill out into the street, which will be closed during that time, if needed.
The game seems to be benefitting other Flandreau businesses, too, as participants bar hop during ticket sales or run to various restaurants for food, he said.
“It’s hopefully stimulating the economy,” he said.
If the game of odds is successful, the group hopes to host one every year, Sutton said.

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