It was a chance to throw caution to the wind and bet all your chips, while helping a good cause. On Saturday night, the third annual Kootenay Kids Society fundraiser Casino Royale took place at the Prestige Lakeside Resort.
Gaming tables, including blackjack, red dog, three-card poker, roulette and even horse racing were all part of the fun. The evening also included three James Bonds, several lovely Bond girls, a secret villain and plenty of ways too raise money including 50/50 draws and a silent auction.
There was also music and dancing to the sounds of the band No More Madness.
All proceeds from the event went to Kootenay Kids which help children, parents and care providers achieve their full potential through the provision of support, education and other child-centered programming.
“We are here tonight to let people know that the Kootenay Kids Society is out there in their communities providing services and programs for families all over Nelson, up the north shore to Kaslo, across the lake to the east shore, up the Slocan Valley to Nakusp,” said Janet Leahy, chairperson for the Kootenay Kids Society Board.
“Plus we have all kinds of programing here in town, child care resource and referrel which helps care givers and families provide educational things for thier kids. And also help people who want to get licensed to provide child care,” she added.
But that’s just an example of the services that the society has been providing over the past 25 years.
The fundraising event is designed to let people have a good time, while supporting the society.
“We’ve had incredible support from the community with donations of prizes, it just fabulous,” said Leahy.
Volunteers worked the gaming tables and the silent auction while three Bonds battled it out in over dramatic fashion.
Valerie Warmington, executive director of the society said the evening is very important to the organization.
“We’ve seen an increase in demand that has doubled since last year and yet our funding hasn’t gone up at all. In fact with rising costs and an unfunded wage hike, we are in a less financially flush position,” she said.
Most of the group’s funding comes from the Ministry of Child and Family Development and some from Interior Health and Federal Health Canada. The remainder comes from local groups and individual donations.
Warmington said it’s great to see the community support the society’s work.
“We provide a lot of programs for families with small children under six. We focus a lot on vulnerable families,” she said.