My Lucky Ticket: Winning Becky’s New Car

performing arts fundraising

Last weekend, when I arrived at Zach Scott Theater, I saw a beautiful white 2-seater Mercedes coupe on display right in front of the entrance and presented with a big red bow. How fitting an image as patrons arrived to see "Becky's New Car"-- a delightful play about a middle age woman navigating the waters of a comfortable but mundane marriage.

Before the show began, Barbara, one of theater directors, asked if anyone happened to notice the Mercedes. She explained that the theater was selling 2500 raffle tickets at $50 each for a fund raiser with exactly one grand-prize winner who would drive away in that beautiful roadster.

At intermission, I walked out to stretch my legs. My eyes locked with the car's headlights. I moved outside for a closer look. Wow. Double stitched leather bucket seats. Wood trim everywhere. All the bells and whistles.

Barbara--ever the sharp fund raiser--didn't miss a beat when she spied me near the car. "Climb in!" She opened the door with a big smile and a heap of exuberance and closed the door as I sat inside. "Isn't it beautiful? Doesn't it feel great?" Oh, Barbara was good alright. She was as slick as a furniture salesman who recognizes the difference between a "looker" and the buyer who--once ensconced in a comfortable recliner--is two seconds away from laying their money down.

I had to admit. It did feel good. And as I sat there touching the sleek wood of the steering wheel and feeling the shifter engineered for my hand, I actually envisioned myself in it. Winning it!

Unlike my post last week about low cost and family friendly FUNdraisers, this was a bit more upscale, but at the price offered, it wouldn't quite qualify as a high profile event. And when Zach Scott sells all of those tickets for a total of $100,000, they will have bankrolled another production after settling with the Mercedes dealership for the car. The not-too-extravagant ticket price, the tie-in to the play itself, and the invitation to sit inside that little roadster all combined to create a great fund raiser that has you believing you'll come out the lucky winner.

And how could I not? I've got two chances riding on it.