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The second annual Kiwanis Casino Night and Auction is scheduled for Oct. 16, and the proceeds will benefit many local youth programs, including summer school

PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY RAY AUSTIN
 - Attendees of the 2019 Kiwanis Casino Night were enjoying the festivities, including this game of craps. On Oct. 16, for the 2021 Kiwanis Casino Night and Auction, there will also be blackjack, poker, roulette and a prize wheel. In addition, there will be lots of food, raffle prizes and a silent and live auction.

Does the idea of gambling, having fun with friends, and supporting an important cause get your attention?

A night with lady luck with your favorite people--playing blackjack, poker and craps is just around the corner at the second annual Kiwanis Casino Night and Auction. On Saturday, Oct. 16, there will also be food, drinks, raffle tickets and prizes, a silent auction and a live auction with well-known auctioneer, Dean Edgerly. All this will be sponsored by the Prineville Kiwanis Club.

Summer school is the biggest budget item that the Prineville Kiwanis Club supports each year, and which the Casino night and auction helps to fund for the community. President Ray Austin is hopeful to raise $50,000 for the evening to help toward the many events and programs the Kiwanis International of Prineville supports.

"We have always had one major fundraising event for 13 to 15 years, and it was a benefit golf tournament. We replaced it with the casino night, thinking it would be more fun for the community," explained Kiwanis member and director Wayne Looney.

The first casino night venture, which was held in 2019, proved to be a success.

"We got a lot of feedback from people, 'This was fun.' They were able to support us, and we learned a lot," he added.

After canceling the second year due to COVID, the Kiwanis Club has an incredible evening planned, complete with blackjack tables, craps, poker, roulette, and a prize wheel. The event will be held at Carey Foster Hall. In addition, there will be food, drinks, raffles and prizes. Fun money can be converted to opportunities for raffles, and the evening will end with an auction.

Kiwanis member Sheryl Rhoden indicated that they have a number of quality packages as part of the night auction. Some of the exciting packages include a golf getaway package, a sage rat hunt, Cowboy Dinner Tree package, flaming hot barbecue package, a date night package, a "disco" cooker skillet and package, and a camping package. There are many more, and there will be more than $10,000 in value in the packages and more than 22 items.

"There are a lot of chances for people to enjoy the evening and have fun gambling," she went on to say.

Looney indicated that the vendor for the gambling is out of Eugene, and "their stated objective is to give gamblers a fun evening."

Rhoden added that the "fun" money can be converted into raffle tickets.

"We have really nice prizes that they can put these tickets into. All that stuff is $50 to $100 and up," said Rhoden. "The generosity of this community is like it always has been. They are a giving community."

The gambling will be cut off at 7:45 p.m. to allow for the live auction. The $45 ticket covers catered food with a bar, a drink ticket, $20 of "fun" money, and the opportunity to have a fun night gambling. At the end of the night, there will be a paddle auction as well, for those who wish to have additional auction opportunities to support the Kiwanis.

The largest feedback that Looney noted that they had from the last casino night was that a good time was had by all.

"We want to compete with the best fundraising auctions in Prineville, and we want people to have a good time. We want to provide an A-1 experience, and we believe in what we do in Kiwanis, and we want them to see what we do and want them to feel comfortable supporting us," he stressed of the fundraiser.

The Kiwanis Club uses the proceeds to support projects such as the splash park, summer school, scholarships, and other programs that benefit the youth in the Prineville community. Activities and programs that the local Kiwanis International support include SMART reading, Kiwanis Helping Children, Tech Trek Central Oregon, Holiday Partnership, Christmas in the Pines, Duck Race with Lutheran Community Services, Central Oregon Youth Development After the Bell, and MountainStar Family Relief Nursery.

They also fund and service the C.A.S.T. Fishing event and Rodders Car Show and Pancake Breakfast. This is the eighth year that the Kiwanis has supported summer school at Crook County School District. The Kiwanis worked with the community to bring the splash park project to fruition.

For the 2021 summer school, there were 1,200 youth, with 500 students in K-3. The Kiwanis group collaborates with the school district, and Looney said that they were extremely impressed with how the district promoted and were proactive to recruit youth for summer school this year.

"They started aggressively promoting summer school for every student," said Looney.

"I can't say enough about the effort of our school district to use money that became available and use it in a fashion that really brought benefit to the kids. They did a wonderful job, and we are happy to be part of it, and we hope to continue to be part of it," he concluded.

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Kiwanis Casino Night and Auction

Location: Carey Foster Hall at Crook County Fairgrounds

Date: Saturday, Oct. 16 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Tickets can purchased at the door. $45 per ticket, which includes food, one drink ticket, and $20 in fun money


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