Santa Paula Times

‘The Great Train Robbery!’ B&G Club’s ride to the Old West Saturday

September 08, 2010
Santa Paula News

Who says bribery, mayhem and extortion can’t be fun?

Find out for yourself at Saturday’s “The Great Train Robbery!” benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, where you’ll take a Fillmore & Western Railway train trip through the river valley with a Wild, Wild West theme that will run the gamut from a shootout and kidnapping to arrests and bail set by a traveling judge and, for added spice, Diamond Lil’ and her dance hall girls!

You’ll kick up your heels to live western music on the flatcar dance floor, sample plenty of delicious vittles, and for elbow bending enjoy no host bars, all for only $45 per person. “We’re really excited,” said Club CEO Sheila Tate. “It’ going to be a fabulous event, a lot of fun - there will be good guys, bad guys, dance hall girls and plenty of excitement for everyone!”

Even before “The Great Train Robbery!” there is plenty of excitement: the committee believes this is the first such fundraiser of its kind. And one only possible in the Santa Clara River Valley, when the club serves more than 1,000 children and youth through it’s “Positive Place for Kids” clubhouses and satellite facilities.

“We’re excited because ‘The Great Robbery!’ is a completely different.” And, said Tate, “we’re encouraging guests to dress with Western flair to enjoy a really fun, unique evening and support a really great cause.”

One facet of the evening will be arrests and guests that will have to be bailed out. But for the “The Great Train Robbery!” being arrested “ain’t” all that bad: “If you are arrested,” noted Tate, “you get a free drink while you serve your time in the pokey!”

Guests will start boarding the train at 5:30 p.m. in Fillmore. Then they’ll pull out at 6 p.m. for a their leisurely ride to Santa Paula, where guests will experience a rollicking “shoot out” at the historic Depot. The train will be ‘rail-jacked’ by dastardly robbers, and guests will be taken back through Fillmore all the way to Piru before the train is turned around for the return to Fillmore.

Along the way there will be a “kidnapping” of a unnamed local philanthropist and an interactive “mystery theater,” where guests will be encouraged to participate and follow the clues to discover the identity of who was snatched, and kick in for the ransom. When the train stops in Fillmore the final time, the rustlers will face a “Hangin’ Judge” and be brought to justice.

Guests will be encouraged to travel from railcar to railcar to experience the variety of appetizers, “Yahoo!” with fellow passengers, and to visit the Calaboose car and determine if the varmint deserves their donation of bail money to be sprung from the hoosegow. This evening of bribery, mayhem and extortion is hosted by the Rotary Club of Fillmore, and sponsored by the Ventura County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Ventura County Sheriff’s Posse.

“So I’m not lying when I say we’ll have plenty of good guys!” said Tate. “And enough bad guys to keep them busy during this excursion into the legendary excitement of the Old West. And as the Western bad guys used to warn: ‘Smile when you say that...’ but you’ll smile anyway because this evening of fun is going to benefit our kids through the life-enriching programs and activities offered through our Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley!”

Make your reservations as soon as possible: the deadline is Wednesday, September 8 (although you might get in a little later with some sweet-talk!). Call the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley, 805-525-7910, for reservations. But hurry: “The Great Train Robbery!” is leaving the station and you’ll want to be on it!