Authorities halt plan to raffle off family deli

Sunday, August 25, 2002

ROCK PORT, Mo. -- State authorities have shut down a northwest Missouri couple's plan to raffle off the family deli.

Tim and Kelly Chard were selling tickets on a chance to win their business, the Red Star Deli in Rock Port.

The raffle began July 15, but representatives of the attorney general's office went to the deli Friday and ordered the raffle stopped, Kelly Chard said.

Raffles can be sponsored only by groups recognized under federal law as charitable or religious, according to the attorney general's office.

The Chards had planned to give all profits from the raffle to the Rock Port Teachers' Association.

"The only thing we would have done is pay the mortgage," Kelly Chard said.

However, the attorney general's representatives said the property would have to be deeded to the school district and it would have to conduct the raffle for it to be legal.

Kelly Chard said she signed an agreement to refund the money people had paid for raffle tickets, and the couple would not have to pay any fines or go to court.

A Web site advertising the raffle also was closed down. The tickets sold for $50 each and the winner was supposed to receive the Red Star's property, equipment and inventory.

The Chards had stipulated that 2,000 tickets would have to be sold by Sept. 15 for the drawing to be held.

"It didn't look like we were going to have enough tickets sold anyway," Kelly Chard said.

The Red Star Deli is now for sale.

The attorneys said they learned about the raffle from several people who read an article about it in the St. Joseph News-Press and wanted information on how to conduct their own raffles.

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