Castlewood ‘Chase the Ace’ nears $275,000 in 50th week

The Castlewood Community Foundation’s ‘Chase the Ace’ fundraiser only has three cards left in its 50th week.
Published: Oct. 11, 2022 at 4:36 PM CDT
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CASTLEWOOD, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Castlewood Community Foundation’s ‘Chase the Ace’ fundraiser only has three cards left in its 50th week.

The total jackpot, which the winner will take home 40% of, has grown to nearly $275,000. A new card will be drawn Tuesday night at 8 p.m.

The fundraiser is hosted by a sub-committee of the Castlewood Community Foundation called Grow Castlewood. Members say they never expected the fundraiser reach that much.

“I think my original goal was, ‘Oh, it would be nice, gosh, if we could get to $75,000, that would be nice.’ Then, our aspirations grew a little bit. You know, the sky is the limit now. Maybe we have a jackpot of $300,000 coming up. If it doesn’t go out tonight and we get down to two cards, who knows what might happen?” said Lois Wiarda, President of the Castlewood Community Foundation.

Wiarda says the ticket sales grew after a tornado struck the community on May 12th.

”We used to be more of a Hamlin County, Watertown where ticket sales come. Now, I’ve tracked, we’ve got ticket sales coming from about 17 states,” said Wiarda.

Back in 2017, the Castlewood Community foundation took a survey to see what the residents wanted to add to their community.

“The Castlewood Community Foundation sent out a survey that went to all area residents, and we identified three different needs that people wanted to see. That being a wellness center, a football field and a splash park,” said Wiarda.

The football field and wellness center both will cost more than $1 million. The splash park will be built last, and it is estimated to cost more than $120,000 to construct.

Thanks to help from volunteers, the football field has already been finished and used this season.

”The football field, there’s no way it would have happened without the Grow Castlewood foundation. They publicly gifted it to the school district on September 30th at half-time at a football game,” said Peter Books, Superintendent of the Castlewood School District.

Wiarda says it’s not only important to rebuild the community after the tornado, but improve it too.

“You know, Castlewood really was a thriving community prior to the tornado that struck the community, and that put us on pause just a little bit. I think it just inspired everybody and made these projects seem even more important. I think the slogan is ‘Castlewood Strong,’ and we will come back stronger and better than before,” said Wiarda.

Tickets for the ‘Chase the Ace’ fundraiser can be purchased by a Venmo payment sent to @growcastlewood or online at They can also be purchased at various cash boxes around Castlewood.

Ticket sales close Tuesday at 7:15 p.m., but if the Ace of Spades isn’t found that night, ticket sales will open for the 51st week at 8 a.m. on Wednesday.