Jim Click

Jim Click calls the raffle winner last week at the dealership at the Tucson Auto Mall.

Randy Metcalf/The Explorer

Seven months ago, Jim Click handed out 40,000 raffle tickets to 210 Southern Arizona charities to sell. Each charity was allowed to keep the profit from their ticket sales, and one lucky ticket buyer was chosen on April 27 as the winner of a brand new all-electric Nissan Leaf.

The car was given away by Jim Click himself at Jim Click Nissan. The Leaf was present for 41 non-profit events since September.

At the event, in front of a crowd of charity workers, Click revealed the total amount of tickets sold (20,000), and the dollar amount associated with those sales.

“We’re pleased to announce you all have raised close to $500,000,” said Click.

The actual dollar amount raised was $491,000, with Click donating an additional $4,000 to be divided amongst the charities, and $5,000 specifically to the Equine Encore Foundation, the charity which acquired the most in ticket sales since September.

Patti Shirley, director of the charity, was recognized by Click for selling $17,000 in tickets. Shirley’s foundation helps retired racehorses that have since become a liability to the owner due to age or injury.

“If you want to talk about motivation, I have 70 horses, hay is $20 a bale, I use 92 bales a week, so I am motivated to sell,” said Shirley. “We do our best to make their days in the sunshine very pleasant and to keep them from bad situations. We want to thank Mr. Click for the opportunity to raise this money, because these opportunities are few and far between.”

Shirley is associated with Tucson resident Cass Dewey, who works the Del Mar National Horse Show in California, and who sold the winning ticket to California resident Melissa Lee.

Shirley was also the salesperson of the winning ticket in 2008, when Click held a similar event to give away a Ford Mustang Bullitt.

Click gave Lee the surprise phone call to inform her she was the winner of the Nissan Leaf. Click said while he preferred the winner to take the vehicle, he would also pay out the cash value of the car, about $37,000 if the new owner so desired.

While Lee didn’t indicate which option she would choose, she seemed both excited and shocked that she had been chosen as the winner.

“I said, I usually don’t do this, but when Cass asked if I’d buy a ticket, I said, ‘Of course I will,’” said Lee.

Click is planning on running another charity fundraiser at a future date to be determined. In the next raffle, Click said he hopes to raise even more money for charities.

“Next time around, we’ll try for a million,” said Click.

Click credited the Tucson community and his staff in allowing him to host such events

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