How To: Never Ending Gun Raffles Raise Both Cash and Energy During Banquets
By Wapiti Wire Staff
Big Game Banquets are a staple event of RMEF chapters. But there are numerous ways to customize each banquet to fit the personality of the host chapter—creative ways to bring in more revenue for elk country while also amping up the fun. One of those tools is a Never Ending Gun Raffle.
A number of various guns are offered as raffle prizes and presented during the Big Game Banquet, usually through photos and descriptions on a poster or board. Then a limited number of tickets are sold to the audience. The raffle winner gets to claim his or her choice gun. Then the process begins again.
Troy Sweet, RMEF Western Colorado Senior Regional Director, works closely with his local chapters to help put on the raffles.
First, chapter committee members put together a list of guns that are readily available at the chapter’s local FFL (Federal Firearms License) dealer or through Davidson’s Firearms several weeks before the banquet. “We try and give the winner his or her choice of several different guns, as well as the caliber of the gun,” Sweet says. “This is a great selling feature, as the winner may not own one of the calibers listed, or they may want a shotgun or a pistol.”
“We sell 50 tickets at $25 per ticket,” he says. “As soon as the 50th ticket is sold, we hold the draw on stage and make a big deal out of it. This allows us to give a gun away early in the night, as the tickets are limited to 50. It also helps us keep the energy in the room up.”
The raffle is held several times throughout the course of the night. But, unlike some never-ending style raffles, the prizes don’t disappear once they’ve been claimed. “Another selling feature is that we don’t take any guns off the board if they are already won,” Sweet says. “After the banquet, we turn in a list of the guns won to the FFL and either purchase them from the FFL or order them from Davidson’s.” Multiple raffle winners can claim the same bounty, since the guns aren’t ordered until after the event.
Sweet says Colorado chapters have seen great success with Never Ending Gun Raffles. “We’ve sold this raffle out from three to four times in one night to over 15 times,” he says. “After the first year, the banquet attendees will look will look for the raffle when they get to the banquet the following year. The success of the raffle gets better each year.”