Unless you’ve been hiding in a fallout shelter since Jan. 8 — possibly a little before, although preselling is banned and I don’t want to make false accusations, but those Lions know who they are — there’s an event of which you’re likely aware.
It’s Grand Junction Lions Club carnival and raffle ticket season.
It’s been this way for a century. So if you’re surprised by a Grand Junction Lion trying to sell you a book of raffle tickets, it’s on you. Don’t take that as harsh, but rather a matter of how things when it comes to the most enthusiastic, fun and perhaps tad irreverent club in town gets into doing its thing.
As Lions go, it’s a matter of pride.
That goes for me as well. Since joining (again) after being kidnapped and Stockholm syndromed by Lions Club President Chris Allen and past President Brad McCloud, my pride has been to qualify for banquet in the first week of sales by depositing $1,000 or more in ticket sales, making at least $2,000 in total sales (truth told, I’ve been over $3,000 the past several years) and being one of the first to the Blue Moon at the end of the parade while giving out the most and best candy.
I don’t write this to brag (well, maybe a little), because my numbers pale in comparison to many Lions hustling to sell tickets to provide funding for the selectees of our Community Betterment Committee. This year’s goal is pretty big. We’re looking to sell $160,000 in raffle tickets for 2020 to help fund the following local nonprofits:
Pomona Elementary — $5,740.
Central High School Band Parents — $4,668.
Camp Hope — $6,000.
Eureka McConnell Science Museum — $5,000.
Outdoor Wilderness Lab-Mesa County School District 51 — $ 12,430.
Grand Mesa Little League — $15,000.
Riverside Educational Center — $12,500.
Grand Valley Youth Football — $2,000.
HopeWest — $2,000.
Karis — $17,500.
Colorado National Monument Association — $15,000.
Palisade High School Marching Band — $4,666.
New Emerson Elementary — $9,454.
Grand Junction High School Music Parents — $4,666.
Taylor Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization — $2,000.
These deserving recipients will join the long list of recipients whose missions have benefited from nearly $8 million in Grand Junction Lions Club carnival and raffle fund-raising over the past century. They’re also the reasons why potential ticket buyers are approached time and again by Grand Junction Lions. Lions love serving. Lions love giving. Lions love supporting others who’re doing good for our communities. As our slogan says: Doing the most good for the most people while having the most fun. Therefore, truth told, we’re happy to ask anyone and everyone to buy tickets. We’re also OK with the word “no” from those who’ve bought tickets from other Grand Junction Lions or choose not to buy any tickets. But I will add this caveat. If you look at the list above, you can see why the Grand Junction Lions go full out in selling ticket books for some 30 to 40 days in January up to the carnival in February. It’s also the same reason you should really consider maybe skipping a beer or two (Lions give up way more) at the Warehouse or a cup of coffee or three at Einstein’s Bagels or buy the smaller wing size at Buffalo Wild Wings and instead buy a book of tickets to support the Grand Junction Lions.
Besides, you’ll get all those small sacrifices back in spades when you use the discount coupons in the ticket books, making this whole episodic ticket mayhem a win-win-win. Plus probably more wins beyond those for every person your ticket purchase will help. While I’m thankful for my $100 ticket book buyers, there are Grand Junction Lions roaming the streets with $50, $25, $20 and $10 ticket books. So there’s a way to support Lions and the community for any budget.
Speaking of budgets, if any of our Grand Junction Lions supporters have some advertising dollars available, yours truly has been “drafted” to sell booth sponsors and prize wheel advertisers. For only $500, booth sponsors receive a banner prominently displayed at each booth and prize wheel advertisers will have a sign on the most stared at feature at the carnival for only $250. Contact me if you’re interested, cause I’m sure gonna contact you in the next week or so.
So there you have the facts about the Grand Junction Lions 2020 carnival season. They can’t be avoided So why not give in to one of the several ways to help. Buy a raffle ticket book for your chance to win more than $45,000 in prizes. Sponsor a booth or prize wheel sign. Attend the parade or carnival, which are free to all.
Might as well. Some Grand Junction Lion is gonna ask you to anyway.
Craig Hall is owner and publisher of the Business Times. Reach him at 424-5133 or publisher@thebusinesstimes.