Md. volunteer firefighters can now sell raffle tickets year-round, offer larger cash prizes
Del. Haven Shoemaker Jr. said representatives of Carroll County's volunteer fire companies asked him to introduce the bill
By Sherry Greenfield
CARROLL COUNTY, Md. — Volunteer fire companies and other organizations in Carroll County are now allowed to sell raffle tickets year-round, and can offer larger cash prizes than before.
This is thanks to a new law, one of many that took effect statewide on Oct. 1. Dels. Haven Shoemaker Jr., and April Rose, both Republicans who represent Carroll County in District 5, sponsored the bill that was approved by the General Assembly earlier this year.
John Krebs, second vice president with the Lineboro Volunteer Fire Company, was one of three firefighters who approached Shoemaker before the General Assembly went into session in January and urged passage of the bill.
Krebs said the new law will allow volunteers to raise more money to meet the fire company’s needs.
“It’s going to help us now, I think,” Krebs said.
Before the law took effect, Carroll County groups could only sell raffle tickets 30 weeks per year, and the maximum prize was $1,100. The new law increases the number of weeks raffle tickets can be sold to 52.
The new law allows an organization to hold six single drawing raffles, in which the prize is $2,500 or more, or 10 single drawing raffles, in which the prize is $2,500 or less.
Selling raffle tickets is one way volunteer fire companies raise money to purchase large pieces of equipment such as new fire trucks. Shoemaker said representatives of the county’s volunteer fire companies asked him to introduce the bill.
“They do the raffles and carnivals as fundraisers, and with the [COVID-19] pandemic earning money was severely impacted,” Shoemaker said.
Byron Welker, chief of the New Windsor Fire Company, is pleased the bill was signed into law.
“This is very important,” he said. “We’re always trying to make money. We depend on the fundraisers to buy large equipment, big ticket items.”
The Carroll Board of County Commissioners issues permits to groups such as hospitals, volunteer fire companies, religious organizations, fraternal groups, civic groups, war veterans, amateur athletic organizations, and charitable organizations that hold carnivals, bazaars, raffles or other games for entertainment.