SPCA gone Bunco

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Fundraising event held

The SPCA of Marion County’s Gone Bunco
It may have been rainy and dreary outside on Friday evening, May 2, but it was all sunshine and smiles inside the Klein Center at the College of Central Florida for the SPCA’s gala fundraiser, “The SPCA of Marion County’s Gone Bunco.”
We heard guests entering the Center say “something smells good,” referring to the delicious catering provided by the College of Central Florida. Before bunco began, guests dined on Swedish meatballs, pork and vegetable egg rolls, bruschetta, vegetable and fruit platters, cheese and crackers and other assorted delights. For dessert, tasty brownies and cookies shaped like dog bones with “SPCA” written on them were the highlights. Each table had a centerpiece filled with dog bones and flowers. You can see that the college went all out for us and we’re deeply grateful.
First, we’d like to thank everyone who braved the bad weather and came out to support us. We all had fun playing bunco and laughing with friends and neighbors. More than half the guests never played bunco before, but it’s an easy game to learn, and each table was given a quick tutorial before play began. At the end of the evening, prizes were given out for most buncos and most wins. Then about 20 gift baskets were raffled off, so many people went home with a valuable remembrance of the evening.
We’d next like to thank Betty Thayer, who was our bunco MC. She did a superb job calling out the games and providing instructions. Everyone was impressed with her ability to clearly get bunco novices moving in the right direction.
We could not have had an orderly, fun evening without the help of the students from the West Port High School Key Club, led by Mr. Waters. They gave out playing instructions, helped us move to neighboring tables, stamped our cards for bunco, and helped people with mobility issues. Many guests commended the young men and women for their work and the SPCA seconds that.
We could not have put this evening on at all without the support of our major sponsors. In alphabetical order they are: A Family Veterinarian, led by Dr. Ed, Ark Storage, the College of Central Florida, Frank DeLuca of DeLuca Toyota, Panther Printing, Roger Hunt Diamonds, and the Star Banner.
Dr. Ed of A Family Veterinarian provides medical care to our foster animals, and works with us to provide financial aid to needy families for their medical bills. Ark Storage donated storage space for the kibble and treats we pack for the Pets on Wheels Program. The College of Central Florida provided the Klein Center, catering, beautifully decorated tables, clean up, and flyer design. Frank De Luca of DeLuca Toyota gave us a generous donation for this event. Panther Printing donates our printing needs, including the beautiful new SPCA brochures, event flyers, letterhead, and pens. Roger Hunt Diamonds provided valuable jewelry for our gift baskets, and the Star Banner provided advertising. We gratefully thank all these businesses for their philanthropy and for caring about their community.
We’d also like to thank all the local businesses who gave us gifts for our gift baskets. Our gift basket raffle was a huge success. Although we don’t have room to personally thank everyone individually here, you may be seeing people coming to your establishments after winning gift certificates for breakfast or dinner, manicures and pedicures, massages, and flowers among other items. These gift baskets were a large part of the evening and we are also extremely grateful for your community support.
Throughout the evening, a PowerPoint presentation continuously looped on three big screens, showing our guests many of the animals and organizations we have helped over the years. Thanks to all who worked on this beautiful presentation.
Finally, we could not have put on such a big event without the hard work and enthusiasm of our SPCA president, Dr. Beverly Carver. No one worked harder at every stage to get this fundraiser up and running and to become a reality.
We hope all our guests had as great a time as we did. Our mission is to help the animals in need in Marion County, and because of the success of this fundraiser, we can help more animals in the upcoming months lead better lives.