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Miners, residents come together to support a good cause

Kevin Allerston
Northern News Services
Published Friday, December 23, 2011

De Beers Canada has announced the winner in their Diamond to Diamond Head Raffle draw, held Dec. 9, which raised $60,000 toward a Chemotherapy/IV Treatment Suite at the Stanton Territorial Hospital.

Happy Holidays from NNSL

Tjaart Willemse, left, acting Snap Lake Mine General Manager, presents a 1.19 carat Snap Lake diamond to Lee Urekar, an employee of Orica/Tlicho Explosives at the mine. Urekar is the grand prize winner in the Diamond to Diamond Head Raffle, which raised $60,000 for a new Chemotherapy/IV Suite at the Stanton Territorial Hospital. - photo courtesy of De Beers Canada

Lee Urekar, who works at the Snap Lake Mine for Orica/Tlicho Explosives, had the winning ticket, which won him the prize of a 1.19 carat Snap Lake diamond, $1,000 toward the setting and a seven-day trip for two to Honolulu, Hawaii. The prize package is worth about $20,000.

"My first reaction was disbelief. I actually thought somebody was pulling my leg, because I've never really won much of anything," said Urekar, who flies to the mine from his home in Fort MacLeod. "I always enjoy contributing to a cause, if I can. It really is a good one, there at the hospital. If we can help other people out at the same time, that's a great thing," he said. "It feels good to contribute and even if you don't win, at least your money's going to a good cause," said Urekar, who has been working at the mine for three years.

"You know, I know that Lee was extremely happy to win the prize and I know from selling a lot of the tickets up at Snap Lake or to anybody who wanted to buy the tickets, the first reaction is 'hey, this is a great cause, I want to support it,'" said Terry Kruger, a communications specialist for De Beers Canada.

"We were able to raise $60,000 for the suite, which is pretty much equivalent to purchasing all the furniture, fixtures and equipment for the suite. So, yeah, that was an amazing amount to raise in two months," said Rebecca Alty, Executive Director of the Stanton Territorial Hospital Foundation.

The new suite is intended to make the sometimes lengthy visits to the hospital for chemotherapy and IV treatment more comfortable for patients.

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