Sunday, February 23, 2014

Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women's Club Hits the Jackpot With Casino Night Fundrai er

By Nita Keswick, staff writer.

Staff photo.
A small, unassuming clubhouse became Monte Carlo, Las Vegas, and Pechanga all in one last night as the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club hosted their popular Casino Night Fundrai er.

Local residents were encouraged to try their luck at the Canoga Park
First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women's Club casino night fundrai er.
A portion of the proceeds from the festivities have been earmarked to
purchase much-needed new event banner software. Staff photo. 

“It was a hit,” smiled Mildred Smith, 77, Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club Vice-President In Charge of Tea Cozies, from her lovely Granada Hills home. “For a thirty-five dollar buy-in, you got a hundred dollars worth of chips. Gertie parlayed hers into nearly two hundred dollars and walked away with first prize - a coupon for two Arby-Q sandwiches down at the Arby’s on Topanga.”

First prize was a pair of these delicious Arby's sandwiches. Photo: Arby's.
Gertie, of course, is Gertrude Johnson, 79, of Porter Ranch, who acts as Director of the Task Force to Grow African Violets from Cuttings. She was thrilled with her prize but admitted “I don’t know when I’ll get back to Canoga Park to spend it. Oh, I’ll be there the first Wednesday of March for the club meeting but then a bunch of us gals usually head over to Stonefire Grill in West Hills for lunch afterward. Or to Coco's in Tarzana. Or sometimes Red Robin in Calabasas. Canoga Park Arby’s...? Well, maybe my grandson can use it.”

Other big winners included the chairperson on the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club’s Committee to Bring Back Antimacassars, Mabel Miller, 82, of Westlake Village. Her prowess at the craps table led to a big win of $150 - good enough for second place: A potted African Violet grown from a cutting donated by another member of the club; and Flossie Brown, 86, of Simi Valley, the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club Assistant to the President In Charge of Making Sure the Clubhouse Subscription to Dell Large Print Search-A-Word Digest Doesn’t Run Out, whose $75 in roulette winnings translated into third place: an adorable little hand-knitted tea cozy. “Oh, my, now I’ll have to start drinking tea,” Brown laughed.

Flossie Brown, a member in good standing of the Canoga
Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women's Club, relaxing
in her charming Simi Valley home. Brown was a big winner
at Casino Night, to the tune of one hand-knit tea cozy.
Photo courtesy Walter Brown.
Even those who didn’t go home as winners had a fine time. 

Ethel Jones, 91, of Agoura Hills, chuckled self-deprecatingly when mentioning that she lost her entire bankroll on one hand of blackjack. 

“I thought you were supposed to double-down on a hard nineteen, and I was betting fifty dollars a hand. Oh well, I’ve just never been good with finances,” sighs the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club Treasurer. “And maybe I shouldn’t have had that entire glass of Freixenet.”

While a lively, enjoyable time was had by all casino-goers, it was a bit confusing for rest of the neighborhood. 

“I don’t think any of us realized it was Saturday,” said Téodor Pasternak, who lives nearby. “We usually set our clocks by the four p.m. soundcheck, from whatever band is playing there that night. When that didn’t happen, no window-rattling bass from the dance music, no profanity-laced overloud conversations, no car stereos blaring, nor any unsupervised children screaming on the top of their lungs in the parking lot into the wee hours of the morning, I think we all of us here in the surrounding neighborhood just presumed it wasn’t Saturday. It was really quite unusual.”

Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club President In Charge of Neighborhood Cacophony, Doreen Farber, 85 of Winnetka, apologizes for the confusion and insists this weekend was a rare anomaly. 

Back door to the club: Open for business! Staff photo.

“You know, we try to strive for a level of consistency from week to week, so we did make sure to keep the door marked ‘This Door To Remain Closed’ wide open as usual, but we just weren’t making enough noise. But don’t worry - we’re booked solid from here to Christmas. Our normal class of reception hall renters will be back, oh, urinating outside on the walls at the edge of property, and all the rest, next Saturday. And you can take that to the bank!”

Sounds like a good bet to us!

Correction: An earlier version of this story mentioned that cockfighting was among the games available for gamblers to bet on. While cockfighting was among the activities enjoyed by some Canoga Park residents last night, according to the police blotter, it was at an address on Blythe, not at the Canoga Park First-Wednesday-of-the-Month Women’s Club. We regret the error.

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