A fundraiser for local soldiers, featuring casino games, live music, a light show, live and silent auctions, dinner and a fajita bar is set for this Saturday, Oct. 15 at the Fort Dalles Readiness Center.
Doors open for the “Guards Cards and Guitars Casino Night” at 5 p.m. and the public is welcome.
At 6 p.m., U.S. Rep. Greg Walden will auction off an American flag that will be flown in Washington D.C., on a date of the winner’s choosing and in honor of a person designated by the winner. Walden will also auction off an acoustic guitar painted with an American flag. The guitar was donated by Mark and Shari Freeman. The Portage Grill is cooking a dinner of prime rib, dijon chicken or hunters pork, which will be offered from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Desserts will be available from the Baldwin Saloon and Cousins.
The Red Hat Society ladies will be staffing the buffet line.
A taco and fajita bar starts at 7.
The Parkdale Fire Department will be treating everyone to casino games including blackjack, craps and roulette all evening. Upstairs, in a room overlooking the drill floor where the dinner and casino games will take place, a Texas Hold Em tournament will start at 6:30 p.m., with sign-in at 6 p.m.
Live music will be provided by local band North Wind, fronted by The Dalles High School band teacher Paul Viemeister, which will start with jazz and then move on to other genres.
Carol Roderick is president of the non-profit group, The Dalles Soldiers and Vets Support Fund, that is hosting the event
This is the second year the non-profit has put on a fundraising event, and all proceeds go to help active military and veterans with family emergencies, and to host a family picnic and family Christmas party, including presents for children, for the soldiers of the local National Guard unit.
“We particularly help out our local National Guard because they are local, and they help the community out,” she said. For example, the local National Guard unit recently took on the task of beautifying the nearby Pioneer Cemetery.
Roderick said when a soldier previously with the local guard unit was transferred to southern Oregon, the nonprofit still supported him when he was deployed to Afghanistan for 10 months. When they learned his unit was not supported, they began sending care packages to them, asking them to request any needed items.
“It made it a lot more fun packing those boxes, knowing it was things they needed, whether it was extra socks or sunscreen or shower sandals,” Roderick said.
She said the guardsmen from southern Oregon were surprised to get support from people who lived such a distance away. “He said, ‘Of course they do. “You’re over here and they care.’”
The first fundraising event last year was “a very profitable one,” Roderick said, and she hopes to have the same success this year.
Entry to the event is $30, which covers dinner and also $50 worth of scrip for the casino games.
At the end of the casino games, the top 17 winners at the game tables will get to pick from 17 high-value prizes. Another 12-15 gift baskets will be available for silent auction, Roderick said. Prizes include a Harley Davidson tool box from Sears that includes gift coupons to the Hi-Way House and gas cards from Hattenhauer Distributing.
Hood River Distillery has made a whiskey basket, and another basket includes a tablet and $150 ear phones.Another prize is a $250 Yeti cooler, with another $100 of Yeti swag in it, including t-shirts and hats.
Another unique gift is an antique Victorian hatbox that contains a Bluetooth-enabled turntable to play records. Roderick said the vintage turntable and records are making a comeback.
Another prize will be a pair of size 12 Danner boots, worth $300, plus ina bottle of The Pines 1852 wine and a gas card.
A Wild Horse Casino package includes two days of unlimited golf, one night stay, lunch at the clubhouse and a dozen golf balls, along with some Pendleton whiskey.
Another prize will be an antique Army locker with $600 worth of freeze dried food, water purifiers and knives form Stockpile Survival.
Bob Davis Photography will be on hand for photos, and Portland-based company Lights up Loud, which does events all over the United States, will provide a light show all evening.
Tickets available at Klindt’s Booksellers, The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce, The Dalles Liquor Store, Stockpile Survival and at the door.
For questions email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-769-1053.