Trust Fund Announces 2024 Big Wish Winners

Sault Ste. Marie (Feb. 26, 2024) –  On Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, Diana Opryszczko of Sault Ste. Marie won this year’s Group Health Centre (GHC) Trust Fund Big Wish Lottery grand prize of $70,000 cash. When the Trust Fund called to let her know she had the winning ticket number 2383837001, she didn’t recognize the number.  When the same number called again, she decided it was probably important, and she was right. It was a call everyone who purchased a Big Wish ticket was hoping to get.     

“I just can’t believe it. I called my son and said, ‘There’s just no way,’” said Opryszczko while on the phone with the Trust Fund. “I went and checked my ticket since I purchased it in-person from a young lady at Rome’s and noticed that I purchased it on my wedding anniversary.” 

The win came as a shock to Opryszczko, and she is still figuring out how to spend her winnings. She expressed that this is her first time winning something and that she only wants to support and help others around her.

“I don’t know quite yet what I will do with the money – maybe a family trip. But all I really want is to help others. That’s why I’m so excited – I just want to bring joy to other people,” she said.

Opryszczko wasn’t the only lucky winner of this year’s Big Wish Lottery. Caroline Dukes of Sault Ste. Marie (Ticket No. 99008651003) took home the second grand prize of $5,000 in gift cards, choosing gift cards for Lyons Timber Mart and Rome’s YIG in addition to $5,000 in cash. While Theresa Muto of Sault Ste. Marie (Ticket No. 1679843001) took home the third grand prize of a trip for two to Toronto to watch an NHL game.

“I’m so excited for all of our winners,” said Lil Silvano, GHC’s President & CEO. “It’s so touching to hear that Diana purchased her ticket on her anniversary without even realizing it, and she won.”

Fundraisers like the Big Wish Lottery play a vital role in purchasing critical medical equipment that significantly enhances GHC’s ability to provide community care. One of the great examples is GHC’s Surgery Department, which services the entire community. The department treats roughly 15,000 patients annually and offers various procedures, including colonoscopy, gastroscopy, bronchoscopy, and other minor procedures.

“Investing in new equipment and improving the infrastructure at GHC is a critical initiative that not only enhances our service capabilities but, more importantly, makes GHC more appealing when recruiting new Physicians and Nurse Practitioners to the community,” added Silvano. “Without it, we risk longer waiting periods for surgeries and the potential necessity for our community members to seek essential surgical care outside of Sault Ste. Marie.”

“Now, more than ever, it is crucial to ensure the enhancement of medical equipment and infrastructure to help with physician recruitment,” said Tricia Lesnick, GHC Trust Fund Manager. “With no government funding allocated for equipment, the responsibility falls solely on the Trust Fund, which relies on community support.” For a full list of current medical equipment needs, click here:

The GHC Trust Fund would also like to give a special thank you to this year’s Big Wish sponsors, Group Health Centre & Merrett’s I.D.A., who sponsored the cash portion of the second grand prize, and KiSS 100.5 and Country 104.3, who sponsored the hockey game tickets for the third grand prize. 

As well as participating community partners who were instrumental in yielding a successful draw: Crimson Ridge Golf Course, Fit Bodies. Fit Minds., Jackson’s Mobile Detailing, Laser Advantage MedSpa, Lyons Timber Mart, Northern Sports Excellence, Rome’s Your Independent Grocer, Savoy’s Jewellers, Searchmont Ski Resort, and Storey Home Furniture. 

The Trust Fund would also like to extend a thank you to all those who purchased tickets and to those who volunteered endless hours as ticket sellers. The 24th Annual Big Wish Lottery would not have been possible without their continued support. 

For a complete list of winning ticket numbers, visit

License number: RAF1353944


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