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May fundraiser roundup: Muttfest, Fajita Festival, Hope & Healing Half Marathon, Derby Days, more
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Muttfest's 25th anniversary party is May 20.
Photo by Mike Haynes

By Chip Chandler — Producer

Mark your calendars now for a slew of spring fundraisers throughout the month of May, including the 25th annual Muttfest and more!


Picnic in the Park

Enjoy a light spring luncheon while supporting efforts to provide housing for Amarillo homeless women and single-parent families.

The Picnic in the Park begins at 11:30 a.m. May 1 in the Great Hall at Polk Street United Methodist Church, 1401 S. Polk St.

Proceeds benefit Eveline's Sunshine Cottage, which provides housing for homeless and low-income women and families in eight fully furnished properties near downtown Amarillo.

Tickets are $50.

Call 806-803-9357.


Cinco de Mayo Fajita Festival

Amarillo Hispanic Chamber of Commerce will move its annual fajita festivities to a new location.

The Cinco de Mayo Fajita Festival will run from 5 to 9:30 p.m. May 4 at Starlight Ranch Event Center, 1415 Sunrise Drive.

The event will feature fajitas, other foods, music from Jay Perez & The Band and Shelly Lares, drinks and Starlight Ranch's activities, including zip lines, a 10,000-square-foot maze, miniature golf and more.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the gate and are available at all Amarillo and Hereford United and Amigos supermarkets. Proceeds benefit the Hispanic Chamber.

Call 806-379-8800.


Cancer Sucks 5

A popular Amarillo rock band will perform for an annual cancer support concert.

Cancer Sucks 5 will feature Velvet Funk around 6 p.m. May 4 at Joe Taco, 7312 Wallace Blvd.

Admission is free, but a percentage of proceeds from meals and drinks will support the 24 Hours in the Canyon Cancer Survivorship Center.

Call 806-331-8226.


Cinco de Mayo 5K Run and One-Mile Walk

The fourth-annual Cinco de Mayo 5K Run and One-Mile Walk will benefit a college scholarship fund.

The race begins at 8 a.m. May 5 at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 1210 S.E. 11th Ave.

Entry fee is $25 for the 5K run or $20 for the walk. Registrations completed by Thursday will include a T-shirt.

Proceeds benefit LULAC's college scholarship fund for area high school students.

Call 806-433-9842.


AMA Hullabaloo

Kids and families can take part in a new fundraiser for Amarillo Montessori Academy.

The AMA Hullabaloo family carnival will feature obstacle courses for all ages, games, a hay slide and pillow trampoline.

The event will run 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 5 at Gee Family Farm & Sweet Corn, 7651 Whitaker Road.

Tickets are $15 each, plus fees, or $40, plus fees, for a family pass for four. Spectator tickets are $5, plus fees.

Call 806-353-3871.


Cinco de Mayo Salsa Competition

Enter your best hot sauce or vote for your favorite at Amarillo-Panhandle Humane Society's Salsa Competition

The fiesta runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 5 at Tripp's Harley Davidson, 6040 W. Interstate 40.

Admission is $10 for adults and free for children. Proceeds benefit the society's shelter animals.

Call 806-373-1716.


Derby Day

Watch the annual Kentucky Derby at this fundraiser for Southwest Ambucs.

Derby Day will run from 3:30 to 9:30 p.m. May 5 at Amarillo Botanical Gardens, 1400 Steit Drive.

Tables are sold out, but a limited number of names can be placed on a waiting list.

The event will include the derby watch party, food, drinks, live and silent auctions and live entertainment, plus the Connie Schnaufer Derby Hat Contest.

Proceeds will benefit Ambucs' scholarship and AmTrykes funds.

Call 806-316-5240.


Wolfpack Howl for Charity Cinco de Mayo

Regional favorite rock band The Electric Gypsies will headline a benefit concert for several Amarillo charities.

Wolfpack Amarillo will host the concert and party, which begins at 4 p.m. May 5 at Hoots Pub, 2424 Hobbs Road. Music begins at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $15.

Proceeds will benefit Amarillo Children's Home, The Bridge, Colorful Closets, Heal the City and Snack Pak 4 Kids.



St. Joseph Festival

A Tejano concert, food, drinks and games will be featured at the eighth annual St. Joseph Festival.

The fest will run from noon to 7 p.m. May 6 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 4122 S. Bonham St.

Traficantes del Ritmo will perform. Raffle tickets are $5 for chances to win a $5,000, a $1,000 and a $500 Visa gift card.

Admission is free, and tickets can be bought for food, games and more.

Call 806-355-5621.


Dog Days of Summer

Sip on some wine and find a new animal companion at the Dog Days of Summer event at Bar Z Winery.

The winery and Texas Panhandle Pet Savers will team for a dog adoption drive from 3 to 9 p.m. May 6 at Bar Z, 19290 Farm-to-Market Road 1541.

Get a token for a free glass of wine with donations of supplies including leashes, collars, dog beds, toys, treats, paper towels, spray Clorox, towels, blankets, wire crates, food/water bowls, Sharpies/pens and hard plastic kiddie wading pool.

Not all adoptable dogs will be on site, but they can be seen here

J&L Good Grubs food truck will be on site.

Contact 806-488-2214 or


Spring Luncheon: Runway to Recovery

The annual Downtown Women's Center spring luncheon will add a fashion twist.

Runway to Recovery will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 8 in the Amarillo Civic Center Complex North Exhibit Hall, 401 S. Buchanan St.

It will feature fashion and more from retail stores, plus a celebration of both the 80 women served by the center and of Executive Director Diann Gilmore's 40 years of service. 

Tables are $250 to $10,000. Proceeds will benefit the center's efforts to provide housing and services to overcome homelessness and addiction.

Call 806-372-3625.


CMA Under the Big Top

Chamber Music Amarillo will run away with the circus for its annual fundraiser.

CMA Under the Big Top is set for 6 p.m. May 11 at Amarillo Botanical Gardens, 1400 Streit Drive.

The circus-themed party will feature music from Insufficient Funds, a dunk tank and more. 

Tickets are $100; sponsorships are available.

Call 806-236-3545.


Brandy Lee Leard Memorial Run

Run or walk through the Wolflin neighborhood at the 10th annual Brandy Lee Leard Memorial Run.

The walk begins at 8 a.m. May 12 and the run at 8:30 a.m. at Austin Middle School, 1808 Wimberley Road.

Registration fee is $30 for a 5K or 10K run or the one-mile run/walk, or $40 for either run plus the walk. Last-minute registration and packet pickup will take place from 4:30 to 6 p.m. May 11 at Get Fit, 1911 S. Georgia St., or at 7 a.m. on the day of the event.

Proceeds benefit the Brandy Lee Leard Memorial Scholarship Fund, founded in 2009 by Charles Leard in memory of his daughter, who died in 1983 at age 2 from a heart defect.

Call 806-223-5680 or 806-584-4236, or email or


West Texas Raza Run​

The West Texas Raza Run motorcycle rally will kick off at Tripp's Harley Davidson, 6040 W. Interstate 40 to Sanford Dam and Bear Creek Bar near Borger, then back to Thompson Park for a cookout and music.

Registration is free, but donations and raffle ticket sales will benefit Wesley Community Center. 

Kickstands go up at 11 a.m. May 12, with registration at 8:30 a.m.

Call 806-236-8785 or 806-206-3185.


Maverick Music Festival

The new Maverick Music Festival will offer music under the stars in a fundraiser for Maverick Boys & Girls Club.

The event will feature a barbecue rib meal from the Big Texan, music from Bob Wyre & The Fence Posts, Caliche Road and Jason Hodges & The Panhandle Playboys, plus Starlight Ranch Event Center's activities, including zip lines, a 10,000-square-foot maze, miniature golf and more.

It'll run 4 to 10 p.m. May 12 at Starlight Ranch Event Center, 1415 Sunrise Drive.

Tickets are $33 for adults and $15 for kids ages 6 to 12. VIP tables are available for $1,000.

Call 806-678-8002 or 806-372-8393.


Blondes vs. Brunettes RivALZ Golf Tournament

Teams of four will compete via shotgun start at the Blondes vs. Brunettes RivALZ Golf Tournament.

Play begins at 1 p.m. May 14 at Tascosa Country Club, 4502 Fairway Drive.

Entry fee is $500 for a team of four, or $125 for individuals. Fee includes green fees, cart, meal, goodie bag and a ticket to the 2018 RivALZ Blondes vs. Brunettes football game on June 9.

Proceeds benefit Alzheimer's Association — Amarillo.

Call 806-372-8693.



A stroll around the Amarillo VA Health Care System will provide supplies for formerly homeless veterans.

The eighth-annual VA2K walk is set for 11 a.m. May 16 at the Amarillo VA, 6010 W. Amarillo Blvd.

Walkers will stroll around the building, where booths, food, games and other activities will be available.

Donations are sought of hygiene products, bath towels and wash rags, toilet paper, dish towels and cloths, pot holders, laundry and dish soap, bus and phone cards, household cleaning supplies, and brooms and mops. 

Proceeds will benefit the VA's Housing First program.

Call 806-355-9703, ext. 7421.


Kids Cafe Classic Golf Tournament

Tee up to raise funds to help feed hungry children.

The 2018 Kids Cafe Classic Golf Tournament is set for 1 p.m. May 18 at Ross Rogers Golf Couse, 722 N.W. 24th Ave.

Registration and lunch begin at 11:30 a.m. A steak dinner will begin following the tournament.

Registration is $1,500 for the four-person, two low-ball tournament. Sponsorships are available for $2,500.

Proceeds benefit High Plains Food Bank's Kids Cafe, which offers daily, healthy meals to at-risk children.

Call 806-374-8562.


'80s Pop-Up Party

Flash back to the 1980s with Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum's first-ever Pop-Up Party.

The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m. May 18 at Derrick Event Center, 814 S. Taylor St. in Amarillo.

Enjoy cocktails and light bites while dancing to '80s tunes from Neon Pink Media's DJ Katie Eddins.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $40 at the door. Proceeds benefit the museum.

Call 806-651-2244.


The Great Closet Cleanout

Panhandle Pride will host a community rummage sale.

The Great Closet Cleanout will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 19 at 212 Club, 212 S.W. Sixth Ave.

Donations for the sale will be accepted, and rental fee for booth space is $25.

Proceeds benefit Panhandle Pride's annual PrideFest and other projects.



Hope & Healing Place 2018 Half Marathon

Runners will tour through downtown Amarillo and two historic neighborhoods in the annual Hope & Healing Place 2018 Half Marathon.

The race begins at 7 a.m. May 20 at Amarillo National Bank Plaza 1, Fourth Avenue and Polk Street. The course will take participants through downtown and the Oliver-Eakle and Wolflin neighborhoods.

Registration is $75 for individuals, $100 for a two-person relay and $150 for a four-person relay. The Sleeping-In donation fee is $65.

Proceeds benefit Hope & Healing Place's support groups for grieving children and families.

Call 806-371-8998.


Muttfest 2018

Amarillo SPCA's Muttfest will take on a dynastic air for its 25th anniversary.

Themed "Game of Bones," a spin on HBO's Game of Thrones, the festival will run from noon to 5 p.m. May 20 at Memorial Park, 24th Avenue and Washington Street near the Amarillo College campus.

The free festival will feature barbecue sandwiches from Rudy's BBQ, face painting from AmaDazzle, the Lone Star Veterinary shot clinic, kids crafts at the Home Depot booth, adult beverages from Party Stop, a silent auction and vendor booths, and the Skyhoundz Canine Frisbee Disc Championship. 

Pets can be entered in several contests: Owner-pet look-alike, best costume, waggin'est tail, best dancer and King & Queen Mutt.

Proceeds will benefit Amarillo SPCA.

Call 806-622-0555.


Memorial Run/Walk for the Fallen

Spend Memorial Day Weekend giving back to those who have served.

The Memorial Run/Walk for the Fallen will be held May 26 at Stephen F. Austin Park, 2400 S. Crockett St. A 5K run begins at 9 a.m., followed by a one-mile walk at 10:30 a.m.

A memorial balloon launch will be held at 11 a.m., followed by lunch at 11:15 a.m.

Registration fee is $25 for the walk, and $25 for ages 19 and younger and $40 for ages 20 and older for the run.

Packet pickup is from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. May 25 at Get Fit, 1911 S. Georgia St.

Proceeds benefit America: Celebrate, Honor & Serve and the annual Armed Forces Day Banquet.

Call 806-673-6779.



Chip Chandler is a producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.