Left:The Hospice Casino Night was a huge success and attendees had lots of fun at the gaming tables. Attendees played Roulette, Blackjack and much more. Above a Texas Hold-em table was filled with experienced players and beginners Right: This Marilyn Monroe cutout was just one of many door prizes at the Hospice Casino Night held last Saturday evening. The winner of the cutout was Seana-Marie Sesma

Rootin’-tootin’ good time had by all at Hospice Western Casino Night

June 27, 2014
Santa Paula News

Nobody had to gamble that they would have a rootin’-tootin’ good time at Saturday’s Santa Clara Valley Hospice/Home Support Group Western Casino Night, where everyone had a date with Lady Luck at the historic Glen Tavern Inn. 

Everyone was a winner at the 7th annual event, and it was winner take all with a variety of raffle and Silent Auction items that were snapped up by eager bidders.

“I don’t gamble except for maybe playing the slot machines,” said Western attired City Councilman Martin Hernandez.

But even without any one-armed bandits he was having fun, as, “Most of all I enjoy hanging out with nice people for a great cause!”

Dinnertime entertainment was by jazz guitarist Barry Cooper and Dave & Paul & Friends (Dave Ackerman and Paul Belgum with Donna Nelson, Frankie Franks and Mike Ackerman).

Following the Laird’s BBQ dinner with Wood Ranch coleslaw and side dishes and dessert by Enzo’s at the Glen Tavern Inn, gamblers were still hungry - for gambling action!

It was time for celebrity dealers to do their best to take the money of Hospice supporters, all to benefit the nonprofit organization that offers always-free services of course!

The Lobby of the historic Inn and the Annex were filled with gaming tables and prizes as well as a wide array of Silent Auction items eagerly sought by bidders. The Silent Auction offered dozens of items ranging from artworks and jewelry to decorative items and gift baskets. There were restaurant and hotel packages, gift certificates for golf, flying lessons and other prizes donated by generous businesses or individuals, all strong supporters of Hospice.

The traditional Hospice stand-ups - life-size cardboard characters this year representing Marilyn Monroe and John Wayne - were eagerly sought raffle items.

Each guest had an initial stake of $250 in funny money to play with.

Supervisor Kathy Long was busy operating the Wheel of Fortune where it seemed everyone was a winner - or at least felt like it.

“I really like the Wheel of Fortune,” Long admitted, as overseeing the spinners is not as intense as being a dealer. 

And, “You can get some visiting in!” said Long before she and Hospice Board Director Barbara Vogel started chanting encouragement for the wheel to “Go! Go! Go!” and better yet, land on a prize.

It was easy to spot Barbara Kroon of the Chamber of Commerce wearing bright blue as she dealt blackjack albeit not always carefully.

Camille Yanez of Limoneira Co. was dealing for only her second year in a row but her already loyal following was at her blackjack table... and as she pushed the limit on keeping the game going you could see why, but not when she kept dealing winning hands of 21 to herself.

With a gambling crowd everyone keeps an eye on the bank and Santa Paula Community Bank Division President Don Tello and Asst. Vice President Diana Williams were in attendance not so much to watch the money as much to spend some.

It wasn’t all gambling as many guests stayed outside on the wide lawn of Glen Tavern Inn property to sit a spell, enjoy the mild evening, and visit with friends.

“Me, I’m in for the gambling!” said Western garbed Gary Nasalroad, a Hospice board director who noted that gambling included trying to win an Island Packers getaway with his wife Nancy.

Said Nancy, “We even bought extras,” on top of the raffle tickets they exchanged their winnings for.

Hospice Co-Founder Cathy Barringer, the longtime former president of the board, was a salon girl at least in spirit - rather spirits! - as she tended the bar with Carla Edwards and Victor Espinosa.

“I’m really thrilled with the turnout, I believe it’s the largest we’ve ever had,” said Barringer, who said the organization is lucky to have so many “wonderful” supporters, sponsors and volunteers, “including all our celebrity dealers!’ 

Board President Rachel Bustillos thanked all for coming and noted, “We’ll see you back here next year!”

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