Winner takes it all – and gives it all away

ABOYNE – Mark Weidmark is surely on Santa’s nice list after winning not one but two prizes from the Rural Wellington Hospitals 50/50 draw and giving a good chunk of it to community organizations.

The foundations of Groves Memorial Community Hospital, Louise Marshall Hospital, and Palmerston and District Hospital are holding 50/50 draws jointly and Weidmark won the second draw – and winnings of $5,000 – back in October.

But that wasn’t the end of the good fortune for Weidmark who also recently won the early bird draw and winnings of $500.

But perhaps most astounding, Weidmark is giving the $500 prize to the Elora Rocks Lawn Bowling Club.

“I bought a computer with the first prize,” he said as officials handed him the cheque on Dec. 2. “That makes it easy to donate to causes I care about.”

From his first winnings, Weidmark gave $250 to efforts in Brantford to find unmarked graves of Indigenous children on the grounds of the former Mohawk Institute, a residential school near the territory of the Six Nations of the Grand River.

With the second win, Weidmark handed the full amount – $500 – to Elora Rocks president Ian Burns.

Burns said the pandemic has taken a toll on the club, which is using reserves to pay the bills until it can operate at full capacity again.

Weidmark’s wife Maggie has Alzheimer’s disease and finds that lawn bowling is good for her mentally, physically and socially.

“It’s exercise, social interaction and uses brain power,” he said. “It contributes to a healthy lifestyle and we want to see the club continue.”

Mark and Maggie Weimark hand over a cheque for $500 to Elora Rock Lawn Bowling club president Ian Burns.

Foundation officials were surprised to see Weidmark’s name a second time.

“I was 100 per cent certain I was wrong,” said Amy Van Huss, development officer at Louise Marshall Hospital’s foundation. “But we checked and it’s real. He won.”

The Rural Wellington Hospitals 50/50 Lottery is an online fundraiser organized by Louise Marshall, Groves, and Palmerston and District Hospital Foundations. By collaborating, the draw extends its reach in the community, and can create bigger jackpots for players.

The 50/50 lottery kick-started in July and has since raised over $20,000 to purchase life-saving equipment across our community’s three hospitals.

Tickets can be purchased online only at

Follow all three hospital foundations on social media to keep up-to-date with 50/50 lottery announcements.