Rotary fundraiser to draw crowd |

Rotary fundraiser to draw crowd

Tango & Cash event encourages raffle bargaining

Margaret Hair

Steamboat Springs Rotary Club member and Chamber director Sandy Evans Hall, center, prepares to draw the winning raffle tickets at Rotary's Tango & Cash fundraiser in 2007. This year's Tango & Cash event, which raises funds for local nonprofit organizations, is Saturday night at Three Peaks Grill.

— Toward the end of the Steamboat Springs Rotary clubs’ annual Tango & Cash fundraiser, 10 people are given a chance to be reasonable and split their odds at $7,000 in prize money 10 ways.

But that never happens.

“You could all get 10 of them up there for the $7,000, and they could say, ‘You know what, let’s split it 10 ways and all get $700 and we can walk away,’ which never happens,” event co-chairwoman Angela Catterson said.

The 12th annual event, presented by the Ski Town USA Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs, is based on the sale of 260 raffle tickets at $100 each. From those ticket sales, Rotary awards $15,000 in cash prizes during the Tango & Cash dinner and dance, which begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Three Peaks Grill. Most of the remaining raffle money – $10,000 – goes to a local nonprofit. This year’s event benefits LIFT-UP of Routt County.

David Freseman, executive director of LIFT-UP, said the agency has seen a dramatic increase in need for financial and basic living assistance in the past several months.

“The big issue is that so many people have either lost their job or are being laid off from their jobs, and that has caused them serious financial hurt and has left them unable to pay for what we do here, which is meet human needs,” Freseman said. The food bank, rent assistance and utility assistance are among the services LIFT-UP provides that have been stretched thin during the economic downturn.

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“It’s increased our caseload and increased our need for resources, so it is timely for Rotary to have granted these funds to us, and we’re very grateful,” Freseman said.

As of Thursday morning, about 10 raffle tickets and about 15 seats for the Saturday dinner remained, Catterson said. To purchase a raffle ticket or a ticket to Tango & Cash, call Catterson at 879-9158.

How to play

– The event is divided into four shifts. During each shift, organizers draw raffle tickets for cash prizes, including 10 prizes of $100, 7 prizes of $500 and one apiece of $1,000, $2,500 and $7,000.

– Ten raffle tickets are drawn out of a hat for a chance to win each prize of $1,000 or more. Those 10 people are eliminated one by one as their tickets are drawn again. They’re given the option to split the money. Audience members also have the option of buying one of the 10 finalists’ chances. The result always is entertaining, said Mike Forney, president of the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs.

“We’ve had situations where, last year, somebody paid $1,000 for the ticket from somebody that was standing up there, and the very next ticket that was drawn was that one, so they lost it,” Forney said.

– Those who are eliminated early from the cash-prize running are entered in a “lucky losers” drawing for one of 13 prizes including Denver Broncos football tickets, a two-night cabin stay at Steamboat Lake and restaurant gift certificates.

If you go

What: 12th annual Tango & Cash dinner and raffle, presented by the Ski Town USA Rotary Club and the Rotary Club of Steamboat Springs. This year’s fundraiser benefits LIFT-UP of Routt County

When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Three Peaks Grill, 2165 Pine Grove Road

Cost: $55 for dinner and dancing; $100 raffle tickets offer a chance at cash and other prizes worth $15,000

Call: Angela at 879-9158

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