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Ball gets rolling early for Charlotte Dial-a-Ride - Aug. 14, 2014

Chris Roberts
St. Stephen
A little mix up resulted in Sunday's Charlotte Dial-a-Ride Ball Roll happening earlier than expected, but the winners won’t mind.
Peter Caswell’s ball number 393 was the first to reach the barricade set up in front of the RCMP building, earning him a one-night stay at the Algonquin Hotel and $500. Tanya Estey and Tom Booth won second and third prizes respectively.
Dana Planetta, Charlotte Dial-a-Ride manager, said the early start was the result of an early finish to the Soap Box Derby, which finished at 2 p.m.
“We were under the understanding that theirs would run 'til about 3:30,” said Planetta, adding she had planned to sell more tickets to the gathered crowd.
In the International Homecoming Festival brochure, the Ball Roll was scheduled for 4:30 p.m., but because they used equipment from MechMuffler – who were in charge of the Soap Box Derby – Planetta said they didn’t want to keep it too long.
“They were there all morning, they were there at 7 o’clock,” Planetta said of Shane McGregor and some of the other volunteers from MechMuffler.
Next year the Ball Roll will be advertised as “following the Soap Box Derby,” though, as last year proved, organizers can’t always plan perfectly.
“Last year kind of the same thing happened,” said Planetta. “We had it set for a certain time but ended up going 10 minutes early because it was raining all day and the skies just kind of opened up.
“We were already drenched, so we said ‘why not,’” she added, with a laugh.
The Ball Roll is the primary fundraiser for Charlotte Dial-a-Ride, a not-for-profit which offers transportation to those who do not have access. Balls were sold three for $5 and the not-for-profit had volunteers selling them at Atlantic Superstore over the weekend; they were also available at Miss Scoops weeks leading up to the event.
“I know it’s over $2,000 – I haven’t done all the final estimates,” said Planetta when asked how much this year’s Ball Roll brought in.

chrisroberts@stcroixcourier.ca