Colorado raffle drawings offer big dreams, help nonprofit licensees

Children’s Hospital dream home in the Bonnie Brae neighborhood of Denver. (Photo courtesy of Children’s Hospital Colorado)

Each year the Colorado Secretary of State’s office issues hundreds of raffle licenses.

And three nonprofit licensees — The Boys and Girls Cub of Metro Denver, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Colorado — offer a dream home as the grand prize.

Raffle tickets for the three nonprofit licensees range from $100 to $150.

The Boys and Girls Club offers a safe place for children by providing after-school programs, a meal, help with homework, or whatever else a child may need. A membership is only $2 annually for a child, thanks to fundraising events such as the “Dream House Raffle.” The slogan is “Your chance to win is their ticket to thrive.”

The grand prize this year is a 9,500-square foot house in the Stapleton/Lowry area.

The winner is offered the option to forgo the house and take $2 million in cash instead. Shannon Bee, the Secretary of State’s office’s bingo & raffle supervisor, said Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver has been doing successful house raffles since 1995.

The Boys and Girls Club four-bedroom, seven-bathroom dream home in the Stapleton-Lowry area. (Photo courtesy of Boys and Girls Club)

Children’s Hospital of Colorado does not offer a cash option but it does cover the cost of one year of taxes on their dream home as well as some of their other top prizes.

Children’s Hospital Colorado is the leading center for children’s health in their seven-state region. Children’s pioneers new methods of treatment and care made possible through fundraisers such as the mighty millions raffle.

In addition to dream homes, prizes such as cars, vacations, gadgets and various other items are raffled off.  The dream home offered this year is in Denver’s Bonnie Brae neighborhood.

St. Jude also conducts dream home raffles in Colorado among other states. The nonprofit licensee offers two homes in Colorado this year, one in the Denver area and one in the Colorado Springs area.

For St. Jude, it’s a win-win situation. Winners receive their dream home and are helping to end childhood cancer. St. Jude research hospital offers their services to patients and their families free of charge thanks to donations and raffles like the Dream Home giveaway.

Arapahoe High’s Ben Timmons: a true Warrior

Arapahoe High School Warrior Ben Timmons, whose father Trevor works at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. (Timmons photo)

By Julia Sunny

Around the Secretary of State’s office, Trevor Timmons is rarely seen without his Arapahoe High School lanyard around his neck — his son Ben is one of the team’s star basketball players.

Ben Timmons, who thought his career was over because of two back-to-back injuries, ended up helping the Warriors earn a berth in the Sweet 16 this season.

“He is big and talented,” Trevor said of his 6-foot-7, 220-pound son.

When Trevor’s not in meetings dealing with cyber security and other issues — he’s the Secretary of State’s chief information officer — he’s doing duty as president of the boys’ varsity basketball booster board.

Trevor also tweets out the Warriors’ progress during the games.

Ben isn’t the only tall guy in his family. His younger brother, Bryce, is 6 foot 2, and their grandfather was 6 foot 4.

“I’m the smallest guy in my household,” said Trevor, who is 6 feet tall.

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Colorado’s state elections director rises to NASED president

Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his elections director, Judd Choate, in Washington, D.C. (SOS photo)

Colorado’s state elections director, Judd Choate, was sworn in Thursday night as president of the National Association of State Election Directors.

When administering the oath, Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams talked about Choate’s unrelenting commitment to his beloved University of Kansas basketball team. Williams assured onlookers that Choate would apply that same passion toward his leadership of the organization and its goal for elections excellence.

Among those in the crowd: Matt Masterson, one of three commissioners with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

“Thanks to the leadership of Secretary Williams and Judd Choate,  Colorado is a national leader in elections,” Masterson said. “As president of the State Election Directors, Judd will have a platform to lead and share the great work done in Colorado.”

The organization, referred to as Nass-ed, holds its winter conference in Washington, D.C., at the same time the National Association of Secretaries of State meets.

“Election directors can adopt policies to increase voter turnout,” Choate said. “I hope to use my year as president to encourage the adoption of these policies.”

The happiest guy at the Colorado Secretary of State’s office

Deputy elections director Hilary Rudy with staffer Ben Stuart last week. He wore the coat to work most of last week. (SOS photo)

Meet Ben Stuart, who wore his New England Patriots suit jacket to the Colorado Secretary of State’s office four out of five days last week. On Friday, he wore his Tom Brady jersey.

The same Ben Stuart who had arranged for a day off on Monday, the day after the Super Bowl game between the Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons. Win or lose, he knew he would need that day to, shall we say, recover.

So, why the Patriots? Well, Stuart grew up in Maine and attended college in Massachusetts before moving to Colorado about seven years ago. He works in the elections division for the SoS.

The 27-year-old worried when the Patriots fell behind 28-3 halfway during the third quarter.

“But I was running around telling my friends, hold on, Tom Brady’s done this before, including against Denver,” Stuart said, referring to the 2013 matchup where the Patriots were down 24-0 but ended up beating the Broncos 34-31.

Stuart’s belief in Brady & Belichick paid off. As the Boston Globe put it, the Patriots “staged the most incredible and improbable comeback in history of America’s game, beating the Falcons, 34-28, in overtime.”

“It was amazing,” Stuart said.

That’s actually how most folks in the Colorado Secretary of State’s office felt after last year’s Super Bowl, when the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers to win Super Bowl 50.

From pucks to presidents: Size matters when it comes to crowds

Joe Sakic hoists the Stanley Cup at the Colorado Avalanche's victory parade in 1996. (Cyrus McCrimmon/RMN/ Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library)
Joe Sakic hoists the Stanley Cup at the Colorado Avalanche’s victory parade in 1996. (Cyrus McCrimmon/RMN/ Western History/Genealogy Dept., Denver Public Library)

Disputes over crowd size are nothing new, although it was certainly a strange way for President Trump to begin his presidency.

The brouhaha reminded me of one of my favorite crowd size stories, after the Colorado Avalanche won the Stanley Cup in 1996.  I remember the story by the Rocky’s Charlie Brennan because of his great line about Barry Fey, ” a man of considerable experience with big numbers.”

Trump’s press secretary ripped the media  for reporting the size of the crowd was smaller than at past inaugurations, including for Barack Obama’s in 2008. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said “news organizations had deliberately misstated the size of the crowd at Mr. Trump’s inauguration on Friday in an attempt to sow divisions at a time when Mr. Trump was trying to unify the country,” according to The New York Times.

Here’s the June 14, 1996 story about the size of the crowd at the Av’s parade:

By Charlie Brennan
The Rocky Mountain News

Pick a number. Any number.

That appears to be what Denver officials did Wednesday, in estimating the crowd attending the downtown Stanley Cup parade and celebration: 450,000.

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