When it comes to the State Fair of Texas, agriculture and education go hand in hand – not only as pillars of the organization, but as fundamental features of the Lone Star State and its history. Celebrating 129 years of food, music, exhibits, shopping and family fun, the State Fair offers a one-of-a-kind way to experience all aspects of Texas culture – all in one place.
While every Dallas native recognizes the State Fair for Big Tex, corny dogs and the Texas Star Ferris wheel, many people do not realize that the Fair is a nonprofit organization with a mission of promoting agriculture, education and community involvement through quality entertainment in a family-friendly environment. In line with this mission, the Fair supports students throughout the state of Texas through its Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program. Providing more than $1 million annually in scholarships and prizes to youth participating in its competitive livestock events, the State Fair aims to support students who show a passion for agriculture and understand its importance in Texas’ past, present and future.
Although the Youth Livestock Auction is certainly the largest in a series of fundraising events put on by the Fair, the efforts don’t stop there. Another key event is the State Fair of Texas (SFT) Raffle, which celebrates its fifth year during the 2015 exposition. Led by fifty Dallas-area young professionals, the SFT Raffle raises money for the Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program by selling $1 raffle tickets for 13 different prize packages. Unique in the fact that it is led entirely by young professionals, the SFT Raffle offers a way to get involved in the Fair’s nonprofit initiatives, specifically for the city’s younger crowd.
“The State Fair of Texas is one of the crown jewels of Dallas,” says Heath Cheek, a partner at Bell Nunnally & Martin and founding chairman of the SFT Raffle. “The SFT Raffle provides a way to plug in the ‘next generation’ of Dallas leaders with this great cause, while raising tens of thousands of dollars in money for the Auction and Scholarship Program,” Cheek says. “Through the support of the State Fair, 100% of the money that the SFT Raffle raises goes directly to the youth of Texas, which is so rare to see from a charitable endeavor,” Cheek continues.
Tickets are $1 each and can be purchased through individual committee members, at the SFT Raffle Booth on the fairgrounds located at the corner of MLK & Nimitz, or through the SFT Raffle’s Tilt account at: https://www.tilt.com/tilts/state-fair-of-texas-raffle
Supporters of the SFT Raffle have the chance to win any of 13 different prize packages, including:
- Antigua (Caribbean) Trip (approx. value $3,000): 7 nights stay at St. James Club & Villas (does not include food and beverage all-inclusive amounts)
- Saint Lucia (Caribbean) Trip (approx. value $2,100): 7 nights stay at St. James Club-Morgan Bay (does not include food and beverage all-inclusive amounts)
- Big Green Egg (approx. value $1,600): Courtesy of Paragon Distributing Company
- Trip for Two to New York (approx. value $1,800): Flight for 2 people (courtesy of Southwest Airlines – now direct out of Love Field) and 2 nights stay at the Sheraton Times Square
- Amelia Island Florida Trip (approx. value $1,500): Flight for 2 people (courtesy of Southwest Airlines – now direct out of Love Field) and two nights stay at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort
- Trip for Two to Chicago (approx. value $1,600): Flight for 2 people (courtesy of Southwest Airlines – now direct out of Love Field) and 3 nights stay at La Quinta Inn
- Dallas Dining Package (approx. value $1,200): $50-250 Gift cards to Al Biernat’s, Bob’s Steak and Chop House, Eddie V’s, Hillstone, Sevy’s Grill, Newk’s Eatery, Rusty Taco, Project Pie, The Ranch (Las Colinas), Sissy’s Southern Kitchen & Bar, Mattito’s Bar and Grille, Mi Dia From Scratch, Del Frisco’s Grille, Howard Wang’s
- Dallas Sports Package (approx. value $2,201): 2 to 4 tickets to the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks, Stars, Cotton Bowl, Byron Nelson, Rough Riders, and FC Dallas
- Staycation Package (approx. value $1,229): One Night Stay at Great Wolf Lodge; One Night Stay at Omni Dallas, Top Golf Gift Certificate, Dallas Zoo tickets and gift bag, Admission to State Fair of Texas, Day at Lone Star Park
- Western Package (approx. value $1,600): Overnight stay at Rough Creek Lodge, Four Billy Bob’s Texas passes, $500 gift certificate to Cavender’s, and Milano Cowboy Hat (courtesy of Pinto Ranch), concert and gift certificate to The Rustic
- John Deere D100 Lawnmower (approx. value $1,699) (courtesy of Ag-Power)
- Dallas Arts Package (approx. value $1,450): 2-4 tickets or passes to performances at Dallas Summer Musicals, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Dallas Theatre Center, Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Texas Ballet Theatre, and Fort Worth Modern Museum of Art.
- Ladies Day Out Package (approx. value $1,160): Gift certificates to Dry Bar, Abi Ferrin, Hiatus Spa (massage), Blue Jeans Bar, McShann Florists (including a flower design course), Crowbar Cardio, Flywheel, Pinot’s Pallette.
The raffle drawing is scheduled for Sunday, October 18 on the Chevrolet Main Stage; winners do not have to be present to win.
Since its inception, the SFT Raffle has raised nearly $200,000 for the Fair’s Youth Livestock Auction and Scholarship Program. The Raffle Committee is always looking for new members, with membership levels of $500, $1,000 and $2,500. Memberships include State Fair season and parking passes, as well as raffle tickets.
For more information, contact SFT Raffle Chair Heath Cheek at 214-740-1449 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Information is also available through the State Fair Livestock Department at email@example.com or 214-421-8723.State Fair Raffle