Annual ball drop supports Rotary

NANAIMO – Rotary Club of Lantzville takes to skies to raise cash with golf ball drop contest.

Look up. Look way up and you might see money – well, golf balls –  tumbling from the sky.

The Rotary Club of Lantzville is spooling up its rotors for its third annual Helicopter Golf Ball Drop.

The event happens at Fairwinds Golf Course in Nanoose June 7.

Fifteen hundred raffle tickets are available at $20 each. Every of those raffle tickets will have its number marked on one of 1,500 golf balls that will be dropped from a chopper from B.C. Mountain Helicopters. The balls that land closest to a flag marker win prizes.

Why is the event limited to 1,500 balls?

“Well, there has to be some sort of competition in the competition, but not too much,” said Alyson Winks, event spokeswoman. “Truth be told, that’s the number the helicopter can handle.”

Jenny Janecek, pilot and B.C. Mountain Helicopters owner, concocted the idea for the ball drop fundraiser with Robert Grose, one of the event’s chief organizers, and has been donating her time and piloting skills ever since.

“She’s been wonderful in donating her time and fuel and helping us out with it – and the helicopter ride (prize) as well,” Winks said. “She’s been wonderfully supportive of us and just a dream to work with.”

Cash raised from the event helps Lantzville Rotary support more than 20 community organizations and programs, such as Nanaimo Child Development Centre, PacificSport and construction of the Seaview Memorial Playground.

The drop happens at Hole No. 1 right after Lantzville Rotary’s 16th annual charity golf tournament – Rotary Golf to End Cancer – also being hosted at Fairwinds that day.

The five balls that land closest to the flagstick marker win one of five prizes which include $2,500 cash, a $1,500 Quality Foods gift voucher, a $1,000 Canadian Tire gift certificate, a 20-game golf pass for Fairwinds Golf Course and a one-hour flight for three over Vancouver Island with B.C. Mountain Helicopters.

Each ticket also includes a pack of $5 discount coupons for Ricky’s, Boston Pizza, Pipers Pub, Fairwinds Golf Club restaurant and the Village Pub in Lantzville.

The contest is open to everyone and ticket holders do not have to be present to win.

Tickets are available from Lantzville Rotary Club members or from sales booths on weekends at Canadian Tire and Quality Foods Nanaimo stores and Red Gap Centre in Nanoose.

People can also buy tickets and get more information about the Helicopter Golf Ball drop by calling Rotary Club of Lantzville at 250-818-1893.