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Ocean Pines house raffle to benefit volunteer fire dept.

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.