Rev the engines, for it’s time once again for the annual Altrusa Car Party, happening at 6 p.m. tonight at the Elk’s Club.
Altrusa President Glenda Reid is expecting the customary 300 to 400 people for the dining, dancing — and chance to win a brand new car — as the $100 tickets have all been sold out.
A total of 26 winners have previously driven away in the winning vehicle in the past, thanks to the annual bash. The event, which has been roaring through town since 1978, serves as the club’s only fund-raiser and is known to rake in sums up to $10,000 after Altrusa pays the dealer the cost of the car, Reid said.
This year’s grand prize is a 2005 Ford Ranger XLT Supercab that is fully loaded.
“I think it’s fun to give away a pickup,” Reid said. “We haven’t done that in few years. It goes with our theme Rodeo Roundup and our Western decorations.”
To find out what it’s like to win the grand prize, we rounded up a few of the past winners. Here’s what they had to say:
First winner ever, Lynn Jarry in 1978 – “It was wonderful,” said Lynn’s wife Mindy Jarry about hitting the jackpot right off the bat. “We were totally surprised.” Although Mindy Jarry said they were enamored by the white Thunderbird they drove off with as the first winners ever, she said they sold it after about a month or two to put a down payment on the house. “We may have sold the car right away,” she said, “but we kept the house for 15 years.”
Two-time winner Raul Munoz in 1988 and again in 1991 – Raul Munoz’ wife Marylou said she still drives the fully loaded Grand Marquis they peeled away in after nabbing their first grand prize. “The needle (on the odometer) has gone around twice already,” she said, “and it’s still going. I take it Las Vegas, Denver, Lubbock. And three years later my husband won the pickup. We’re past due now for another win,” she laughed.
“Everyone thinks it’s me that wins – not him,” Marylou Munoz said. “He’s the one who wins the cars…I just get to drive them.”
Lucky 13th winner Debbie O’Quinn in 1990 – Debbie O’Quinn said she was shocked when her name was picked as the winner of the Lincoln Town Car. “When you got down to the last few people, you stood up there with them and I kept thinking ‘I hope they get it because they really need it.’” Perhaps the fates thought O’Quinn was the one who needed it, because her name was the final one drawn. “The funny part is my husband was trying to buy the ticket off the only other people left,” O’Quinn said when they were down to a first and second place winner, the former to get the car, the latter to get a bicycle. She said he was offering a hefty $5,000 for their ticket. “When they picked the other ticket (as the runner up), they told my husband ‘You almost bought a $5,000 bicycle.’”
Past car winners
1978 Lynn Jarry
1979 Margie Barnett
1980 Jo Evelyn Morton
1981 Dr. Elwyn Crume
1982 Delbert Bone
1983 Tonya Hodges and Don Bryant
1984 Herb Slack
1985 Bettie Ditto
1986 Elmer Schuster
1987 Janis Fought
1988 Raul Munoz
1989 Quay County Sun
1990 Debbie O’Quinn
1991 Raul Munoz
1992 Marvin and Crystell Terry
1993 Last 3 tickets called purchased by Big Country Ford @ $4300 each
1994 Dennis Tapia
1995 Ruby Jennings
1996 Warren and Angie Frost
1997 Ronnie Jobe
1998 Tonya Rigdon
1999 Lou Briscoe
2000 Blevins McKenzie
2001 Phillip and April Barry
2002 Janice Goldston / Jess Goldston
2003 Alex Mills
2004 Julian and Beth Sisneros
2005 To be determined