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Casino Night heads West

March 28, 2002|BY KATE COLEMAN

Head 'em up. Move 'em out.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce will be "On the Road to the Wild West," Saturday, April 6, at Fountain Head Country Club.

The evening, the chamber's second annual Casino Night and Auction, will benefit the chamber and its Newspaper in Education Program.

Each ticket holder will receive $75 worth of "house money" - "cash" to play casino-style games, as well as bingo and trivia games.

"You don't have to be a gambling aficionado to play," says Mary Anne Burke, marketing director for the chamber. Members of the Exchange Clubs of Washington County, contracted to provide the games, will be on hand to guide and instruct uninitiated guests. Their fee will support the Parent-Child Center.

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A third of the "house money" won at the gaming tables can be used to pay for a portion of a successful bid for any of the more than 120 items in the evening's silent auction. The donations, with a retail value of more than $22,000, will be on display at the General Store, which opens at 6 p.m. - the same time as the saloon.

The wide array of auction articles includes a pair of boxing gloves autographed by Mohammed Ali, autographed copies of the "Gods and Generals" screenplay, gift baskets, getaways to Deep Creek Lake, Williamsburg, Va., Ocean City, Md., gift certificates for electricity, gasoline, car washes and oil changes, a dogwood tree, a computer, computer upgrades and training, a tent, framed photographs, frames, vases, acupuncture and massages, a golf membership, gym membership and golf getaway.

"We have something for everybody," Burke says about the price range of auction items.

Suzanne and Ed Hayes have donated a gourmet picnic supper for 12 people under the stars at Ellerslie Farm, their home. This is the second year for the picnic, says Suzanne Hayes, Casino Night chair. She's happy to help.

"The chamber does so much, community wide," she says. It takes staff and time to administer the many chamber programs, she adds. Among the programs are government affairs and economic development projects, "eggs and issues" breakfast and brown-bag lunch programs, Teacher of the Year and 24 Game Math Challenge.

"The chamber has always had a commitment to NIE," Hayes says.

This school year, business partners, as well as individual donors, are helping to put more than 240,000 Morning Herald newspapers and teacher's curriculum guides in area classrooms. "The Herald-Mail matches all donations dollar for dollar," says Michelle Wills, The Herald-Mail's educational services coordinator.

The chamber wanted a signature event and came up with the "On the Road" theme. Last year's Casino Night was "On the Road to Margaritaville."

The April 6 "Wild West" party theme provides plenty of opportunity to round up some fun. The "gourmet buffet" items at the "Chuckwagon Cafe" include Spaghetti Western, Buffalo on a Plank (marinated flank steak), and for dessert, Boot Scootin' Bites and Custard's Last Stand.

Oh please. Git along little dogies.

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