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Berlin, MD 21811
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Ocean Pines house raffle to benefit volunteer fire dept.

9/5/13 | By Sheila R. Cherry, Associate Editor

OCEAN PINES—Kay and Lanny Hickman had ticket #1149, which won the 1,312-square-foot house, plus garage and font porch, raffled by the Ocean Pines Volunteer Fire Department Sept. 2.

Third-grader Tess McNeill drew the winning number for the house at 82 Windjammer Road before a Labor Day crowd.

The house in North Ocean Pines has three bedrooms, including a master bedroom with walk-in closet, and two full baths. It has air conditioning, a heat pump, a tankless water heater, hardwood floors, modern appliances and fixtures, and was professionally landscaped.

Chairman of the Contest Michael Allen estimated the department sold roughly 2,890 tickets, with around 150 selling the weekend before the drawing. Tracey Jones was the co-chair for the event.

The wet weather earlier this year shortened the length of the contest, which usually begins on Memorial Day. Nevertheless, while this year’s contest was not a sell out as in the past, Allen said that a lot of people still participated. “We did well,” he said.

The money raised goes into the department’s general fund, which pays for annual costs for fuel, medical supplies, radios and other needed items for the year. The department has 20 members, including firefighters, emergency medical technicians and fire police.

The department is in line to respond to approximately 1,700 calls for help this year, OPVFD President Daniel Healy said. “It increases each year.”

Two factors that increase the number of calls are the community’s large number of elderly members and the shift of more members to year-round residency.

The final amount raised depends on the total costs of the project and will be determined after an appraisal on the house, Healy said. Last year’s contest raised $62,000 for the department.

The drawing has been an annual ritual in the Pines for 20 years, Healy said. The process begins when the department purchases a reasonably priced lot and starts building in February.

“We try to complete it by Memorial Day,” which is when the organizers hold an open house to allow the public to look at the house. Brunori Homes of Berlin participated by giving the department a discount on its contractor services as it built the house, Healy said.

Most contest winners keep the homes they win, he said, though last year’s winner lived in Berlin and decided to sell the house. The year before the winner lived in Pennsylvania, but was retired and moved into the house, Healy said.

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