The 2009 annual casino night fundraiser for Elizabeth Gregory Home has been a rousing success! Thanks in part, no doubt, to my homemade Moroccan chicken rolls. Kidding! But the Moroccan influence seemed appropriate considering that the theme for tonight's event was Casablanca. Michael looked sporty in my great grandfather Allarick Hagglund's vintage hat, and I did my best effort at 1940s glam make-up and kept my stylish, full-skirted blank trench firmly cinched at the waist for the evening.
The blackjack tables were the place to be tonight, and Michael managed to more than double his money, while another guy at our table did far better than double. The fact that he has experience playing blackjack at an actual casino no doubt helped. And we also benefuited from his tips and pointers, something I'm sure no legitimate casino would tolerate at the table.
But that, of course, is what makes it fun. It's about getting to play with no pressure, no money lost, and knowing that every penny you spent on tickets for the event goes to a good cause. Getting into the spirit of things, Michael and I even won all three items we bid on for the silent auction - including a jazz CD (from Leah Natale, the singer who performed for us tonight), a $40 smoothie gift certificate for a local shop, and a day of kayaking for two (we'll wait until the weather improves to take advantage of that one).
But it was our friend Michelle who received the most sought after prize of the night - a pale purple satin clutch covered in tulle rosettes. Despite the desirability of this bag "covered in bling," as Michelle's boyfriend put it, she was actually more than willing to part with it, after we told her we could put it to good use by gifting it to our seven year old niece. I sure hope Katelynn appreciates it!
Most importantly, I hope the money raised to night will continue to keep Elizabeth Gregory Home ative, providing a place for women who have been homeless or suffering in abusive relationships a chance to build their lives again in a safe environment. Fifty women have graduated from the live-in program EGH offers to permanent housing and jobs, a number that will soon be fifty-one. Now that is an accomplishment worth celebrating.