Altrusa car party drives it home

By Ryn Gargulinski: QCS

Tucumcari’s Bobby Dominguez said he did not foresee himself driving away the grand prize winner in Altrusa’s annual car party — but his wife certainly did.

“My wife never prays for material things,” Dominguez said, “but she kept saying I was going to win the truck. She said she was sure I’d win the truck.”

Dominguez, owner and operator of Bob’s Upholstery on Main Street, said the 2005 Ford Ranger XLT Super-Cab pickup could not have come at a better time. “We needed a new truck for such a long time but didn’t have the resources,” Dominguez said. “It was a God-send.”

Perhaps it was also a favor from above that a parking space was available Saturday night at the fully-packed Elks Club where hundreds of car-winning hopefuls shelled out $100 per ticket for a night of dining, dancing — and a chance to drive away a winner.

“We got the tires wet that night and I had to dry them already,” Dominguez said, adding he was still hesitant, however, to take the truck to work. “I’m not going to drive it until I get over the shock (of winning),” he said.
Perhaps even more exciting than the truck to Dominguez — or at least equally so — is the Altrusa organization itself.

“I am personally very proud of Altrusa,” Dominguez said. “My wife belongs to Altrusa and I usually donate the bike they give away at the party (as a runner-up prize). They get all this money from the party but everything that comes from the people they give back to the people. They do wonderful things for this town.”

Dominguez said the annual car party, of course, is one of those wonderful things. “Those people work hard for the car party and it’s one of the nicest social events in Tucumcari.”

Dominguez, who donated chimes from his store instead of a bicycle this year, was not alone in his admiration of one of the town’s biggest affairs.

About two hours into the boisterous gig, Tucumcari’s Digger and Norma Garton’s ticket number was already eliminated. But they said they’d be sticking around anyway.

“We don’t care about the car; we never win,” Digger Garton said. “We’re members of the Elks club and we’re here to support the lodge and we like hanging out with friends.”

Speaking of friends, Dominguez said he was fielding calls all day Sunday from the dozens of folks who called to congratulate him and his wife on their big win.

“Everybody was so happy I won. It was exciting to see them so excited. I was on the phone until 10:30 at night,” Dominguez said, adding, “but it was nothing I did. I really feel that the Lord wants us to be prosperous.”