If you love to gamble but need to watch your wallet, an upcoming event is just for you. Best of all, the fun and games will help a good cause.
The Woman's Club of Bakersfield is holding a Casino Night fundraiser on Feb. 16 at its 18th Street home to help raise money for the restoration of the Metcalf house at the Kern County Museum. With Texas Hold'em, blackjack, roulette, craps, bingo and Wheel of Fortune, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the thrill of the game without losing your shirt.
Darleen Carpenter, president of the club, and Beano Cameron, vice president, are two of the organizers for the Casino Night. They said all are welcome at the event, and that men shouldn't be scared off just because it's at the Woman's Club.
Tickets are $50 and include dinner, dessert and $300 in play money. For each winning hand, guests will receive one ticket for an opportunity drawing. Prizes for the drawings include a smart TV, two nights at Cambria Pines and a $500 travel certificate through CruisePort Travel. Players who are having bad luck can buy their own tickets for the drawings (one for $5, three for $10 or seven for $20).
The evening will have a Western-theme, so guests are encouraged to dress the part. They can capture those looks with a photo op for $5. Dinner will be deep-pit barbecue provided by Mossman's Catering. There will also be beer, wine, soda and water.
"Cowboys don't drink fancy stuff," Cameron said. "They drink beer!"
There will also be a silent auction with items like a Fender guitar autographed by famous guitarists (including Eric Clapton, U2's The Edge and Santana), autographed movie posters, a pearl necklace, an electric GMC Denali children's car, purses and more.
The club holds two major fundraising events during the year — Festival of Trees for the holidays and Festival of Baskets in the spring — but this is its first casino night.
While the Woman's Club does all kinds of charitable giving (both in grants to local charities and in scholarships to local students), its sponsorship of the Metcalf house isn't just random philanthropy. The club decided to sponsor the house, a $35,000 donation over four stages, because of a special connection.
The original owner of the 1885 home was Thomas Metcalf, whose daughter Modena (nicknamed Maude) was active in the Woman's Club of Bakersfield and served as its president from 1938 to 1939. The house wasn't just her childhood home; she lived there as an adult after returning to Bakersfield from Mills Women's Seminary College in Oakland.
"The museum approached us and said, 'You have this connection, would you consider doing this?'" Carpenter said. "So we decided to sponsor the Metcalf house."
At the museum, the project to restore the Metcalf house will include stabilizing the foundation and adding new interior wall surfaces, paint and wallpaper. The project is expected to be completed and rededicated in October.
"I think it's really important what they do at the museum and Pioneer Village to restore the history of Kern County," Carpenter said. "It's important to support the Kern County Museum. They've done a wonderful job bringing in buildings and renovating them."
"It's good for our children to be able to go there and see the history of how things used to be," she said.