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Fundraiser will replace golf tournament as the main event to raise money for different Kiwanis efforts in community

INTERNET PHOTO - The Kiwanis club casino night will take place at the fairgrounds Saturday, Oct. 19.

The Kiwanis Club of Prineville is switching from golf to gambling this year – at least as far as their annual major fundraiser is concerned.

After years of hosting a golf tournament to raise revenue its many different projects and means of community support, the civic organization is going to host a casino night.

"Earlier this year, we decided we would go to a casino night," said Kiwanis member Wayne Looney, who went on to note that there were a couple of reasons for the change. "There were a lot of golf tournaments going – almost every week. We were having trouble attracting enough golfers."

The Kiwanis Club was concerned that the sponsors for the golf tournament, which Looney said have been very supportive over the years, were not getting represented very well at the event in recent tournaments.

"We were looking for something that might be a little fresher," Looney continued, "a little more fun for people to come to and enjoy, and hopefully make some revenue for us so we can do our projects."

Kiwanis projects and activities supporting community needs are seemingly ongoing throughout the calendar year, Looney said. He doubts there is a month that passes where they don't accept requests for funds and grant them.

He went on to note that about 80-90% of those activities are youth-oriented, which falls right in line with the club's stated mission of supporting youth in the community. Among the more expensive endeavors are the scholarships that the club provides to Crook County High School graduates (about $10,000 per year) and summer school, which is a $9,000-$11,000 annual expense.

"This is the sixth year of our summer school we just finished," Looney said, adding that the club hopes to continue it in partnership with the Crook County School District in subsequent years.

Other projects that have come at a substantial cost but are not recurring include the playground at Pioneer Park and the recently completed splash pad.

The casino night is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 12, from 5-9 p.m. at Carey Foster Hall. Tickets for the event are $45 and can be purchased at the Michael J. Mohan CPA office, and include admission, heavy hors d'oeuvres courtesy of Club Pioneer, and one drink. Each visitor will receive $20 of funny money that can be used at seven different blackjack tables, one roulette wheel or a craps table.

"We enlisted a professional casino night outfit out of Eugene," Looney said, adding that the same company has helped facilitate other local casino night fundraisers. "The focus of the dealers is they want the people to have a good time. They try to help people and make the gambling experience enjoyable." The casino night will also include a silent auction as well as a prize wheel where people can purchase a couple spins for $5.

As the casino night winds down, people who have had good luck at the tables can take their funny money winnings and purchase tickets for drawings on 10 different prize baskets.

"We have always enjoyed really strong support from our community, which we appreciate," Looney said. "We will offer a fun night for people to come and be supportive of what we are trying to do."

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The Kiwanis Club of Prineville's casino night will be held at Carey Foster Hall on Saturday, Oct. 12, from 5-9 p.m. Tickets cost $45 and can be purchased from any local Kiwanian or by visiting the office of Michael J. Mohan, CPA, 106 N. Main St.


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