Santa Paula Times

The Roulette table was very busy at last Saturday’s Santa Clara Valley Hospice-Home Support Group’s annual Western Casino Night

Lady Luck?... at Hospice Western Casino Night

June 28, 2013
Santa Paula News

Luck was a lady and everyone a winner at Saturday’s Santa Clara Valley Hospice-Home Support Group’s annual Western Casino Night, where gamblers weren’t disappointed when they bet on having a good time for a great cause.

Held at the historic Glen Tavern Inn, the evening offered two venues for gambling and Silent Auction shopping. But first guests enjoyed live entertainment while dining Western get-along style in the great outdoors of the Inn’s generous courtyard.

Paul & Dave (as in Belgum and Ackerman) provided the lively music and Frankie Franks the sultry vocals at the celebration, benefiting the always free services of Hospice. Costumed saloon - and real life salon - gal Cheryl Fairbanks was tempting the attendees to have a taste of “red eye,” though most opted for fine wine and cool beers.  

Jane Marcus was looking forward to spinning the Wheel of Fortune, her only foray into gambling, although she admitted, “I do love cribbage and dominoes.”

Troyce Reynolds said although not usually a gambling man, “I have $250 in my pocket and I’m going to town” to try to win a bigger stake of “funny money” that later in the evening would be exchanged for raffle tickets.

Texas Hold’em Poker and Roulette were also games of chance and choice, and Railroad Bibles - AKA decks of cards - were being laid down by celebrity dealers overseeing Blackjack tables in the Inn’s generous Lobby and Annex.

Lady Luck was having a hard time convincing Lee Cole to go inside, although he said, “I’ll go in and look around. I’ll probably do some gambling, not necessarily at the card table, but I do love the craps table.”

Cathy Barringer, a SCVH-HSG co-founder and former longtime Board president, was pleased not only at the turnout but the obvious turn the evening had taken: “There’s a real energy, everybody is having a good time!”

From the ruckus it was obvious someone was a winner: “Our whole table’s winning!” exclaimed  Anitra Sommer. “We’re doing the table dance,” obvious as others threw their hands in the air and cheered. 

Indeed some dealers were not playing for the house, although there were no rooks in the crowd - at least at Camille Yanez’s Blackjack table. It was Yanez’s first time dealing for Hospice and she admitted, “I’m having a lot of fun,” so much in fact she plans to return next year.

The only problem dealers were having was limited access to bidding on Silent Auction items, dozens of gift baskets - from Goodies Galore and a tower of games to specialty tequila and glasses to gardening and Christmas in June, as well as art, spa packages, golf outings, even CP Aviation flight lessons. 

Cathy Hicks’ question of “I wonder if they’ll take credit cards for auction items” was quickly answered in the affirmative so she could start shopping... and keep those bids coming!

Suzi Skutley, a veteran Blackjack celebrity dealer who was laying down the cards at the Santa Paula Times table, said she always has fun at the event. “My boss” at the newspaper “even tipped me $50 so I could keep playing... I’m better at being a dealer than a gambler,” but Skutley noted her and others’ losses were Hospice’s gain.

Jacqueline Hamilton was showing off the Christmas in June gift basket she bid the highest for. Hamilton noted it wasn’t only the good cause of Hospice that brings her to the annual Western Casino Night, but also because “I support Cathy Barringer.” 

Raffles - tickets were either purchases outright or gambling winnings turned in for same - offered character stand-ups and trips to Laughlin for some real gambling, among other prizes. 

Barringer thanked the crowd and noted, “The reason we’re all here this evening is because to give the services we do for free” fundraising must be successful. And Lady Luck was definitely smiling Saturday evening on the nonprofit SCVH-HSG because, noted Barringer, “of your generosity.” 

Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group, Inc. provides emotional, social and spiritual support to person with life limiting illnesses. The patient and family is the unit of care, with trained volunteers placed to provide respite care and other services as appropriate.

Bereavement Services are also provided for the community at large, with special emphasis on support for the elderly. Remember: no fees are charged for Hospice services.

For more information call 805-525-1333.