VERSAILLES, Ky. (LEX 18) — Woodford County cattle farmer Greg Dotson figured out a way to turn part of his livelihood into a philanthropic endeavor.
“Last year was all COVID. So my wife and I were sitting around the table saying, ‘What do we have that we can help some people with,’" Dotson said from his spot behind the counter at Woodford Feed Co.
The place was very busy as they prepared to ship out much-needed supplies to farmers in western Kentucky.
Dotson and his wife raise cattle, so they have a lot of beef, and they decided to make a quarter of beef part of a raffle prize last year. The proceeds went to the charity of the winner’s choosing. Last year, he netted $10,000.
The plan was to run the raffle again, but what happened to western Kentucky last weekend added a stipulation.
“When everything happened last Saturday with the storms, I changed the rules of the game, per se, and the winner of the raffle with gets to pick – along with me – what charity in western Kentucky that all this money goes to,” he explained.
As of this writing, Greg had surpassed the $21,000 mark. And it’s only been three days.
“I can’t make a difference in somebody’s life down there by myself. But I can gather enough people together and five dollars, or a thousand dollars at a time, no matter what your bid is, it all adds up,” he said.
In addition to the quarter of beef, this year’s winner will also get to pick out a tree for their yard, planting will be included if you live within 10 miles of Woodford County. And a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon is in the mix too, and that is valued at $1,500. But in the case of this raffle, it really doesn’t matter who wins, or what prizes are being offered.
“Everyone’s a winner in this deal if you ask me,” he said.
Dotson has been in touch with Ryan Quarles, the state Agriculture Commissioner about the damage sustained to farms, and farmer’s equipment in the area. Quarles hopes to find an entity, or individual beneficiary in that area, as the state-wide impact could be significant, not to mention sources of individual income have been decimated.
Greg showed all of the email notifications he’s received that another donation has come in through his Venmo account. It resembles a slot machine that keeps paying out.
“I cried a couple of times yesterday. It’s just amazing,” he said.
If you’d like to support Greg and his western Kentucky raffle, you can send your donation of any amount to @Greg-Dotson-9 If prompted, the last four digits of his phone number are: 0444
OTHER WAYS TO DONATE: For a full list of ways to donate/help click here.