GAYVILLE — This weekend, area residents will have a chance to partake in a night of food, friends and games — all while raising money for Gayville Fire and Rescue.
Saturday, Feb. 13, will be the organization's sixth annual Valentines Day Supper and Casino Night, and will be held at the Gayville Community Center.
"We're hoping to raise more funds to pay off our Rescue 1 unit. We got it fully operational a year ago December," said firefighter and Fund-raising Committee member David Rabe. "We got it all done and were able to put equipment in it. We had the truck for about nine months before we could even use it, because we needed to raise money for the box itself."
The money raised Saturday will go solely toward equipment, Rabe said.
"That's how we support our department," he said.
The evening will commence at 6 p.m. with a social hour.
"That will give people a chance to go through and view the silent auction items and also bid on them," Rabe said. "Later on, throughout the night, from 9 to 10, we'll start pulling the silent auction tabs off and the people that won the bid on those will receive (them)."
The silent auction will feature such items as art, tickets to sporting events, a gift certificate for a mammogram from Avera Sacred Heart and a football signed by former Huskers coach Tom Osborne.
A variety of agriculture-related products will be auctioned, as well.
"Last year, we had hogs that were going for insane rates at the live auction because (the attendees) could use it, and it was going to someplace that was worthwhile," said department and committee member Robb Price. "We had a couple hogs donated right on the spot to keep selling because they were going so high."
A sit-down dinner of wild rice-stuffed chicken breasts and bourbon steak tips, along with cheesy potatoes, vegetables and buns, will be served at 7 p.m.
"We try to go a little bit classier and have them really enjoy themselves, and not have to get up and work or do anything," Rabe said.
The dinner items were donated by Wild Bill Cody's, Central Catering, Ma and Pa's C Store and Schwann's.
"After supper we'll have a brief statement from Greg Pirak, talking a little about what the night will entail from then on," Rabe said. "Then we'll break off and start playing bingo, blackjack, poker, roulette, even horse-propelled horse racing. We will have at least one Texas Hold 'em table, if not more, and that will be a 50-50 payback."
The Fund-raising Committee has worked since November to ensure the night goes off without a hitch.
"Throughout the years, we've figured out what people have fun with, and we play off of that and they really seem to enjoy it," Price said.
"Casino night goes over really well," Rabe added. "It gives them a chance to get up and walk around and visit with everyone, getting away from the typical dance, where you don't have a lot of participation and the crowd thins out afterwards."
Other committee members include Deb Buckman, Kent Buckman and Greg Pirak. Although she's not an official member of the committee, Tara Pirak has also contributed a lot of her time to the evening, Rabe said.
"All of the volunteers do a great job," he said.
Rabe said enough food for more than 200 people will be prepared Saturday. Last year, there was enough food for 150 people, and Rabe said it was "just enough" to feed everybody.
"Every year it's been growing a little bit, and more people are talking about it," he said.
Tickets are available at the door, or at CorTrust Bank in Gayville, Valley Ag Supply, RJ Riders Bar & Grille and Wild Bill Cody's.
Event sponsors include CorTrust Bank, Madsen Spraying, Sanford, Barnes Hay & Feed Co., Valley Ag Supply, Avera Sacred Heart Hospital, and Dan and Jeanne Devine of Midwest Insurance Agency Inc.
Deb Buckman encouraged locals to stop in Saturday night.
"There is something for everybody, especially with the casino," she said. "We serve a lot of good food. It's just a lot of fun."