Everyone at the Airport Museum fundraiser Saturday evening had a great time especially at the gaming tables. Above, (top photo) these three ladies hit it big at the Roulette table. (Bottom photo) Chris Bartleson and Brenda Stewart were all excited with the dice rolling their way at the Craps table. At the end of the evening, winnings were turned into raffle tickets and two trips to Las Vegas and two visits to Hollywood’s Magic Castle were given away.

Wine, Wings, Winnings: all smiles at Airport Museum ‘Touch of Italy’

May 04, 2011
Santa Paula News

Wine, Wings & Winnings, the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula’s (AMSP) annual celebration of all things fun, was held Saturday and featured fine libations and plenty of delicious snacks that reflected the evening’s “A Touch of Italy” theme and made for delicious “mangi”!

The celebration benefited the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula, the emerging venue that will pay tribute to the airport, its history and characters and all things flying by combining the museum’s present “String of Hangars” that offer dozens of exhibits.

There was a sleek display of almost one dozen “bello!” classic Italian Ferraris used as a backdrop for the casino, where gamblers had $500 in play money for friendly “gioco” - gambling - overseen by “famoso” celebrity dealers. Jazz guitarist Barry Cooper provided musical entertainment for the event, held near the site of the still in construction hangar that will hold the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula.

“It was a good evening,” said AMSP Board President Judy Phelps. “It seemed like everybody enjoyed themselves” with Italian favorites provided by Tuscany Pizzeria & Deli, snacks of We Olive and sips of Ventura Limoncello Company liqueurs. And that included those who ran out of their initial $500 stake at the hands of celebrity dealers while flirting with Lady Luck (Fortuna di Signori) playing craps, roulette, poker and blackjack.

“This is a great party, typical,” said dealer Mayor Fred Robinson, of the Santa Paula community, which always puts the “fun” in fundraising. Other celebrity dealers included Fire Chief Rick Araiza, Police Chief Steve MacKinnon, Santa Paula Times’ Don Johnson (looking the part of the Italian croupier down to his black armband and stylish sunglasses), Santa Paula Community Bank President Don Tello, Santa Clara Valley Bank President Michael D. Hause, the Chamber of Commerce’s Barbara Kroon and Linda Bartleson.

Alas, said Phelps, “I didn’t gamble because I got busy at the front gate” checking in guests. “At about the time I was going to mingle and gamble” she had to make a run for more party supplies. “It seems like the evening went very fast,” and Phelps said she was “really disappointed” at missing the action at the tables, as “It was a highlight for me last year.”

But, as last year, another highlight Phelps enjoyed was the success of the evening: “Our Silent Auction was one of the best we ever had,” and the “most popular items, the ones that were really a big hit, were all the flights,” ranging from helicopter to open cockpit and some offering short flights to fun places. “All the wonderful silent auction brought good prices, but the ones involving flight sold very well... and considering the other major events in the area we did very well.”

Bidders eagerly watched their favorites - ranging from a Disneyland family package and flight for two for a Catalina Island lunch and passes to the famed Magic Castle to Dinner for Six at Santa Paula Fire Station and jewelry, to plenty of generous gift certificates and baskets from local businesses, hotels and restaurants, and tickets to the Santa Paula Theater Center, Citrus Classic Balloon Festival and the Margarita Madness Fillmore & Western Railway train. And those were just a few of the items offered for Silent Bid.

Event Coordinator “Judy McCarthy worked so hard, she deserves a lot of credit,” as, noted Phelps, “she made it happen, we just helped her.” As did “our generous sponsors... I don’t know what we’d do without their support and the support of the community for the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula.”

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