Riverside fundraiser gearing up for Saturday

Whether its the functionality of chairs or the thrill of gambling that appeals to people, interest continues to build in the Riverside Foundation for Health Care’s annual fundraiser slated for this Saturday at the Memorial Sports Centre.
“Tickets have been going well,” said Joan Allison, chair of the Foundation’s special events committee. “But the wonderful thing about the casino—unlike a dinner where you have to know ahead of time how many people you have—is you can get tickets right up to the last minute.
“As long as there’s some left.”
Foundation director Teresa Hazel added tickets sales already are nearing 200, but she expected last-minute buyers, too.
Its annual fundraiser this year is in the form of a chair auction and casino. Advance tickets only are being sold for the casino night at $25 each, which are available through Hazel (274-4803) or from any member of the special events committee.
Your ticket includes a $15 charitable receipt as well as $1,000 in “fun” money.
This Vegas-style evening will feature blackjack, roulette, and wheels of chance. A mix-and-mingle will start at 7:30 p.m., with the gaming tables opening at 8.
The casino also will feature a “Win, Lose, or Drink” cash bar, wandering waitresses, games of chance, a “money grab” machine, silent auction, and casino prizes.
Finger foods, including chicken wings and pizza provided by Toonie’s Bar and Grill, will be available for sale that night. Snacks also will be sold.
“Fun” money won through gambling can be used to buy or place bids on items, including some chairs, that evening.
Any businesses wishing to sponsor a gaming table can contact Hazel as there’s only a few left. These go for $1,500 (gold), $1,000 (silver), and $500 (bronze).
Sponsored tables include admission to the casino, “fun” money, and casino prize tickets. Allison noted two gold, three silver, and two bronze tables have been sponsored so far.
Meanwhile, the “chair-ity” auction being held Saturday—featuring a variety of handcrafted, hand-painted, old, new, and refurbished benches and chairs created and donated by local crafters, artists, woodworkers, and area businesses—has seen more than 80 chairs come in, said Allison.
“The craftsmanship in this town, it’s amazing,” she marvelled, adding they’ve ranged from rocking chairs to benches to those in the Adirondack-style.
Those curious to see what will be up for bid can get a sneak peek as volunteers have set up a display in a storefront on the 200 block of Scott Street (the former Tammi’s Flower Garden location).
The “chair-ity” auction will be open to the public starting at noon Saturday in the upstairs foyer at the Memorial Sports Centre. Admission is free.
There will be a closed-bid auction for some chairs, tickets for the penny table chairs, and silent auction chairs.
This is the seventh-annual event for the Riverside Foundation for Health Care, which raises funds for La Verendrye hospital here as well as the health centres in Emo and Rainy River.