If it had not been raining, with a chance for hail, Wednesday evening, Lions Pam Cox and Jerry Galloway would have been at their usual posts in front of Walmart next to a 2019 Jeep Wrangler selling tickets for a chance to take home the Wrangler on the last night of Dogie Days, the carnival and charity fundraiser the Lions have been putting on in Dumas annually for 73 years. Since April, Cox and Galloway have been spending their Wednesday evenings chatting and selling tickets to Walmart customers as they entered and exited the store. With the Dogie Days midway opening Wednesday, June 12, at 6 p.m., Cox, Galloway, and the Jeep will no longer be in front of Walmart, but the tickets will still be for sale from Lions all over town. Tickets for a chance to win the Jeep cost $5 apiece or five tickets for $20; tickets for the barbecue that takes place on Thursday, June, 13, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., go for $11 in advance or $12 on the day of the barbecue. The barbecue tickets also include a chance to win the Jeep. Lions will be selling chances to win the Jeep up to almost the very last minute before the Lions Club Sweetheart pulls the winning ticket out of the hopper at 9:00 pm Saturday, June 15.
Cox and Galloway have not been the only Lions selling tickets. According to Janet Walker, who is heading up the ticket sale effort, sales are on course to at least equal last year. "After a very slow start in April, it has really picked up," she said. "What really helped this year was that several businesses started hosting the Jeep at their businesses, got the word out to their customers and had them come to their office. That has really led to a pickup in sales. We think we have the vehicle paid for; we like to cover that cost before the start of Dogie Days. We think we have raised $30,000 to $32,000 so far." The Amarillo College Moore County Campus Lions hosted the Jeep for two days and sold $1,800 worth of tickets; Dumas Independent School District sold $2,500 worth of tickets in one day. Ad Rem Land Company, Coy Barton, First State Bank, and the Moore County Courthouse, among others, have hosted the Jeep and sold tickets. Individual Lions, as well, have been selling tickets, even without the Jeep to draw people in.
Ticket sales are a big part of the revenue the Lions raise at Dogie Days, and Dogie Days is the largest charity fundraiser the Lions put on each year. Last year, after paying all expenses, the Lions were abel to give more than $117,000 to local charities and non-profit causes. "Not only does Dogie Days provide a lot of fun for the community, but it supports so many … really great causes," said Walker. "We look forward to hosting Dogie Days for the people in the area to just have a great start to their summer, but it is also an amazing fundraiser. We feed over 6,000 (at the barbecue). You look at how many of the businesses just close their doors, and we have a community meal together. I think that is a wonderful testament to Dumas."