(Special to the American Press)
Last Modified: Thursday, July 25, 2013 11:16 AM
Good times and goodwill will be in abundance this weekend at the Volunteer Center of Southwest Louisiana’s annual Casino Royale event. The fundraiser benefits the 2-1-1 phone service.
The event will be held from 7-11 p.m. Saturday, July 27 at Reeves Uptown Catering, 1639 Ryan St.
Activities will include casino games and a silent auction.
Volunteer Center director Beverly McCormick said the casino theme has been successful the past two years.
“People seem to really enjoy it and have fun, they think it is a spirited fun and they enjoy hearing about the Volunteer Center and the services we provide, and hearing more details about 2-1-1,” she said.
The 2-1-1 service helps connect people in need to service providers that can provide assistance.
“It is the centralized, consolidated information and referral system for Southwest Louisiana,” McCormick said.
“It provides information and referrals for people who need food, clothing, shelter, if they are homeless, in poverty, need wheelchairs, eyeglasses, disaster information and referrals, we are able to provide assistance. We have thousands of nonprofit organizations, government programs, hospitals, schools, churches and service clubs. We can look in our database of potential resources, talk to the caller about their needs, and direct them to the best place to get assistance.
The service handles 15,000-20,000 calls per years and serves Calcasieu, Cameron, Allen, Jeff Davis, Beauregard, Rapides and Vernon parishes.
“It covers a wide spectrum — help with utility bills, school supplies for children, how to find a support group for Alzheimer’s, a wide range of things,” McCormick said.
“This is our signature fund raiser to support 2-1-1. I love seeing the people having a great time, hearing the laughter and squeals of delight when they win, that’s exciting. It is also rewarding when during the quiet times I get to go and sit with the people at the table and talk about 2-1-1 and the work we do. I hear the caring and compassion that these people have for our citizens, the desire to help and do good for our community. That’s very humbling and I am very grateful. “
The silent auction will include paintings, gift baskets, a fishing trip, and a stay at L’Auberge.
“The community has been extremely supportive and very generous,” McCormick said. “We appreciate it and could not do it without the support of the community. The event seems to be growing, we have a growing list of sponsors.”