Posted by: twodogtales | November 19, 2010

$470,000 in blackjack winnings!

One of my personal highlights of last Saturday’s  Catsino Night—the annual fundraising gala of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington—was winning $470,000 at blackjack. Considering I didn’t have beginners luck, nor am I card shark, it was a respectable haul.

Catisino Night was held in Reagan Airport's historic former lobby

My head filled with dreams of the home I could buy with a big yard for the dogs to run in. Then reality set in. Half a million doesn’t buy much inside the Washington, D.C. beltway (although in Detroit you could’ve bought the Superdome about a year ago), and, the cash was worthless play money.

The silent auction items covered the entire lobby wall

But about a hundred people and I had a ton of fun, and all the real cash that traded hands went to support the worthy cause of the animals and shelter programs. The old historic lobby of Reagan Airport was filled with blackjack, craps and poker tables, and each attendee got $10,000 to gamble with. 

Great Kreuz, Maryland bureau chief for ABC7/WJLA-TV hosted the live auction

Food was provided by Lebanese Taverna, and you could choose from a variety of specialty cocktails at the martini bar. It was a difficult choice—and of course I had to try both—but the chocolate ‘tini topped the Taverna’s baklava.

Silent auction goodies ranged from art to theater tickets to pet walking

The most excitement of the night came during the live auction. A one-hour flight lesson went for $1,150 and a seven-night stay at a Caribbean resort brought $1,050. But the next item topped them both, and spurred the most energetic bidding war of the night. Two groups of attractive, 30-something  women went head-to-head and up to a winning bid of $1,300 for…wait for it…a dinner for six cooked by the Arlington County firefighters at Station 7 in Fairlington. I can only imagine there’s a story there, but I never found out what it was.

The most energetic bidding war was for a home-cooked meal

All in all, it was a great evening of entertainment, excitement and the rewarding feeling of knowing you’ve helped animals in need. Tickets are reasonably priced at only $100 per person, and it’s well worth it to contribute to a good cause and have more than a little fun doing it.  Mark your calendars for next year’s event!

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