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Let the games begin!

Gervais Casino Night gives guests an opportunity to have a memorable evening and support Cougar athletics


by: PHIL HAWKINS - The silent auction opens at 5 p.m., allowing guests to take home nursery plants, sports memorabilia and a variety of custom prize packages.If last year’s annual Gervais Casino Night was about expanding its boundaries, this year’s fundraiser for Gervais High School athletics is about staying the course.

“We’re pretty much doing the same things that we did last year,” said Christina Jaramillo, who has had two children graduate from Gervais High School and has two more currently enrolled. Jaramillo has helped in the organization process in each of the fundraiser’s four years of operation.

by: PHIL HAWKINS - Table games like roulette allow for the gamblers at heart to test their luck at the fourth annual Gervais Casino Night. The annual event, which combines a silent auction with traditional gaming tables, Texas Hold’em and a blackjack tournament, is the primary sponsor of the school’s athletic programs.

It began in 2011 as a fundraiser exclusive to the football team, but after raising $14,000 in two years of success at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, organizers decided to expand in 2013.

They moved the event south to the Salem Convention Center, located at 200 Commercial St. S.E. in the state capital and invited all the school’s athletic programs to volunteer for the event for a share of the proceeds.

The goal of the fundraiser is to provide local athletes with funding for the basic equipment needed to compete in the various athletic programs offered within the Gervais School District.

“You have to help bring in so much, donate so much time and obviously be at the event itself,” said Gervais softball coach Kyle Buse, who has participated in each of the past two fundraisers.

“Help raise money and help volunteer-wise. Last year we had a good amount of people, and we lost some valuable volunteers, but this year people have stepped up and we’re doing well.”

Not all the teams are back for the fourth, but new teams have stepped in to fill the void and make the fourth iteration of the Casino Night as successful as the previous three.

“I think the soccer teams have jumped on,” said Buse. “Everybody else is pretty much still there.”

by: PHIL HAWKINS - Most silent auction items come donated from local businesses and services, such as these potted flowers and Japanese maples from Herinckx Nursery in Gervais.The event opens at 5 p.m. with a social hour and two sets of silent auction tables with items collected by the sports teams and donated from local organizations and businesses.

Auction items range from homemade blankets and sports garments from Gervais supporters to big ticket items like a new barbecue and a football signed by members of the 2014 Super Bowl Champion Seattle Seahawks.

The first auction table closes at 6 p.m. and the second closes at 6:45 p.m., signaling the beginning of a sit-down dinner in the convention center’s main dining hall. Gaming begins at 7 p.m. and runs through the rest of the evening until the event closes at 9 p.m.

Tickets are available for $35 at the door or guests can go to ticketriver.com/event/10823 to buy in advance for $30 each.

***

What:

Fourth Annual Gervais Casino Night

Where:

Salem Convention Center – 200 Commercial St. S.E.

When:

Saturday, 5 p.m.

Price:

$35 at the door, $30 in advance at https://ticketriver.com/event/10823



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