Crowd lusts for tricked-out ride

Kelly Phillips with Safari Ltd. draws the winning ticket for the Land Cruiser at Kannah Creek Brewing Saturday night.

Attention: Tom Latasek of Aspen.

People out there hate you. But, it’s not your fault.

You just got lucky on Saturday night when your name was pulled in a raffle for KAFM’s tricked out, 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser.

Spelling on the winner’s last name may be different than seen here, as the handwritten raffle ticket was a little difficult to decipher, and the winner was not present Saturday.

Nonetheless, the fundrasier for KAFM which garnered $20 a ticket earned the radio station about $30,000, probably making it their most profitable fundraiser, KAFM Director Marc Foster said.

“I’ll probably have be escorted out of here with an armed guard,” Foster joked in the minutes before the drawing.

Indeed, the raffle for the vehicle garnered interest and generated dollars from hopeful ticket buyers from far flung places like Puerto Rico and Hawaii. One man purchased $1,200 in tickets, Foster confided.

Owners of Safari Ltd., 1005 Pitkin Ave., Hugh and Kelly Phillips donated the vehicle to KAFM to raffle off, spending more than $20,000 on the vehicle and, as they say, pimped it out with the help of other local donors. Custom seat covers. 33-inch all-terrain tires on a lifted chassis. A custom roof rack and bumper and all kinds of camping necessities packed and ready to go.

It was enough to make the most of the people crammed onto the patio at Kannah Creek Brewing Company, 1960 N. 12th St., desperately will their own name be chosen.

Not the least hopeful was Mark Zubek of Grand Junction. He had purchased five tickets and was giddy with excitement as the clock neared 9 p.m., the time slated to pick the lucky ticket.

“Even if it was midnight, I’d be here,” he said sending loving looks toward the Toyota.

At one time Zubek had the two-door equivalent of the Land Cruiser, the FJ40 model that looks like a Jeep but “I always kicked myself for getting rid of it.”

Saturday was supposed to be his night.“It’s a full moon and it’s my 18th wedding anniversary,” he said. “I didn’t tell my wife I bought tickets for it. I thought it would be sort of a surprise. I’m just keeping my fingers crossed.”

Upon hearing the winner, Zubek and no doubt plenty of others present felt the let down. Zubek said he donates anyway to KAFM, but he was especially excited for the chance to win the coveted toy.

“Better luck next time,” he said, good-naturedly before leaving the event.


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