by Alan Todd
A familiar sight every summer in Ouray — a brand new Jeep parked around town that’s the prize in a raffle orchestrated by the Ouray Chamber Resort Association — has been noticeably missing this year.
Kat Papenbrock, executive director of OCRA, said there simply isn't enough money yet to purchase this year's Jeep, but it's coming soon and will be a 2018 firecracker red, two-door Jeep Wrangler JK Sport.
The raffle, an annual event for the past 53 years, raises approximately $100,000 each year, with 70-80 percent of that used for purchasing the next year's Jeep, scholarships, fireworks, the July 4 Glow Parade and Oktoberfest. The remainder goes toward economic development and marketing.
Papenbrock said unforeseen financial expenses last year, coupled with a $140,000 cash flow deficiency, necessitated spending the bulk of the raffle proceeds on unrelated matters.
"With all the things that happened (last year)," she said, "we literally paid everything out of the Jeep Raffle account. Now we're scrambling to pay for the Jeep out of our general account, because we supported the community to the extent that we can't even buy our own Jeep this year out of that fund."
The Jeep is on the way, she said, and the annual raffle will occur with...