Community members are coming together to provide an opportunity to Back the Blue and raise funds for local law enforcement agencies in light of the tragic standoff shooting that shook Levelland on Thursday, July 15.
“Our community has made national news with the standoff shooting and we felt like…we wanted to help as much as we could, we want it to be a community fundraiser to show how good people are here,” said Rusty Rose, owner at Rose Equipment and an organizer of the Back the Blue event set for October 6 at the Mallet Event Center and Arena.
Tickets are on sale for the fundraiser, which provides the ticket holder with a chance to win a 2021 Challenger RT, and entrance to the fundraiser that will include a dinner for two and other chances to win prizes at the Mallet Event Center on Wednesday, October 6. Tickets cost $100.
Amber Rose Smith, also an event organizer, said when she first thought about doing something for local law enforcement, she pictured a backyard barbeque type event, like an appreciation event.
“When it started coming out that our officers need more equipment and other things, we thought we’ve done a fundraiser like this before, why don’t we try it again?” Amber said.
In the past, Amber and Rusty, among others, put on a fundraiser for the Noles’ family to support Staci Noles’ battle with ALS. At that fundraiser, a truck was raffled off and this time, they thought maybe it could work again.
“Find the car was not very easy since there’s not a lot to choose from right now,” Amber said. “We did find one here in town, Scoggin Dickey gave us a great deal on it and it all started to fall into place…We just got excited about it and it went from there.”
The Challenger will be raffled off differently than in the past, and will actually be a reverse auction.
Amber explained this means that when it comes time to draw for the car, they will pull out approximately 98 percent of the tickets, and those who have tickets left in the pool will be given the opportunity to either hold onto their ticket for a chance at the car, or to auction off their ticket to someone else.
From there, the individual can either keep the money they make off their ticket, or donate it back to the cause.
Currently, donations are being accepted for other items to raffle off as the tickets are pulled from the pool of tickets for the car.
“If businesses want to donate gift cards or even a silent auction item, they can get in touch with me or Megan Damrell,” Amber said. “We want to have at least 10 to 15 silent auction items so everyone can feel like they have a chance for something, even if it’s not the car, they can walk away with something from the auction or a prize we draw during the raffle.”
The idea to host a fundraiser for law enforcement only started about two weeks ago, and since then the plans have mostly been finalized regarding time, date and location.
With the proceeds, the organizers want to start an endowment fund for the Levelland Police Department and Hockley County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s still very preliminary, but we’re thinking about maybe starting some kind of endowment fund for our first responders so they can use that as things come up they may not have foreseen,” said Amber.
“If we do start an endowment program, everyone along the way can raise money and put it into this endowment fund,” Rusty said. “It’s something that can keep on giving.”
“We want it to be a long-lasting deal,” Amber said.
Jeanna’s Feedbag has agreed to donate her services for catering the meal for the fundraiser, but organizers are accepting donations for food. Rusty said they will need approximately 800 lbs. of meat to serve pulled pork tacos that evening.
“If someone wants to donate a pork butt, that’s something,” Amber said.
The event will also be an opportunity for community members to get to talk to and meet local first responders.
“We want all the agencies who were involved to be able to come and eat and hang out with us,” Amber said. “It’s not just going to recognize Levelland, but the ones who came from Lubbock as well. It’s going to be fun.”
The main goal of the fundraiser is to give the entire community a way to give back to local law enforcement in some way, even if they can’t afford to purchase a raffle ticket.
“Even though we got the ball rolling, I believe in the end, the community is the one who is going to shine,” Rusty said.
As the event draws closer, more information will be released on Facebook and through the newspaper regarding silent auction items and other opportunities to donate and participate in the fundraiser.
For more information on tickets, contact Amber at (806) 445-4330, or Megan at (806) 893-5799.