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Winner of softball team's rifle raffle plans to destroy gun

The all-star team will play its first game Saturday -

PMG FILE PHOTO - A member of the District 2 Little League softball team in 2011.The winner of an all-star softball team’s rifle raffle may never fire a shot from his new weapon. Instead, the team’s management says the winner plans to destroy the AR-15.

The Rev. Jeremy Lucas, chief rector at the Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Lake Oswego, spent $3,000 on 150 raffle tickets, which were priced at $20 each.

That outlay was no guarantee of success. Another man spent $1,420 on 71 raffle tickets, but came up empty on the day of the drawing, according to Ryan Payne, who coaches the District 2 Big League Softball Team.

AR-15s generally retail for between $800 and $1,200. Lucas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

All 499 raffle tickets were sold, and the team’s 15 players have already deplaned in Lancaster, Calif. There first game is on Saturday.

“I think we have a pretty good shot this year.” Payne said. “We were able to prepare a little bit more than previous years and all the players have positive attitudes going into it.”

Team Manager Ron Brown is attending the tournament as well, but he leaves Gresham with one less title to his name.

Brown resigned as president of the Centennial Little League in response to the League’s decision to release a media statement condemning the rifle raffle on July 10.

“That statement frustrated Ron,” Payne, the coach, said. “He felt like they kind of went behind his back.”

Centennial Little League originally decided to withhold its regular $2,000 donation to the all-star team, but backpedaled after the decision drew the attention of media here and in Portland.

While Centennial Little League is technically a separate entity from the all-star team, they share many of the same players and volunteers. According to the League's website, Jennifer Loman will be the new board president.