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Spinning wheels with no mudslinging

Photo by Valarie Schwartz. The spinning wheel of fortune promises a Fabulous Casino Night for Bynum Front Porch board members Winecker and Barrow.By Valarie Schwartz

Thoughts of the Bynum Front Porch and a spinning wheel might not conjure visions of Las Vegas, but that’s what an energetic Chatham County bunch has in mind. Bynum Front Porch board members may use a rocking chair as their trademark — and even allowed a couple of actors to rock on the porch (for a fair price) in a recent political announcement — but they are betting that plenty of people would like to help them raise money for some local programs by taking a few gambles. To that end, they’re bringing in professional gaming tables and croupiers and have hired three Las Vegas lounge-style acts to perform at the Chatham Mills on Oct. 18 from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

The board expects 400 high rollers to cozy up in 12,000 feet of space that they will transform for Fabulous Casino Night. To complete the scene, they are asking attendees to dress up — men, pull out that (thrift store?) tuxedo; and ladies, get all dolled up and take it over the county line, where I’ve been assured — what happens in Pittsboro stays in Pittsboro!

The $50 tickets will benefit community programs of the Chatham Arts Council and, of course, Bynum Front Porch.

Board member John Winecker has lived in Bynum since 2000 and teaches school in Goldston.

“The Chatham Arts Council is lacking ‘undesignated’ funds for them to recently do with as they need,” Winecker said. Hopefully this fundraiser will help them bridge those gaps.

“We hope to expand the Bynum Front Porch activities and begin providing scholarships,” said longtime resident and board member, Luke Barrow (looking very much like a game show host in his frilly tux shirt). “The idea started this spring to give one or two scholarships for a Chatham County high school student who wants to major in the arts, and one for a Chatham County AVID student. It’s our long-term goal to endow those two scholarships.”

There’s plenty of room for providing tons of fun while supplying the funding. Besides a buffet table filled with bounty from the General Store Café, every advance ticket buyer receives $1,000 worth of chips for spending during the evening of blackjack, craps, roulette and Texas hold’em.

True to Vegas entertainment, there will be music, a magician and an Elvis impersonator, all sure to please.

After fun and games, chips can be exchanged for raffle tickets that offer many prizes, including a flat-screen TV. Every $100 worth of chips equals one ticket.

“If you stink at gambling and want to buy more chips, $20 will buy $1,000 worth,” Barrow said. And no matter what, any money spent will not be lost at this gambling venue.

Local businesses, including BB&T, which recently opened a new branch in Pittsboro, Hope Crossing Animal Clinic, Aria Skin and Laser Spa and Edward Jones Investment have stepped up to the plate to insure that the fun folds into profits for two of Chatham’s most active nonprofits.

A cash bar and shuttle service from Pittsboro Trek Express (for a fee) complete the occasion.

Take a gamble on a fun night by checking bynumfrontporch.org for ticket purchase information.

Contact Valarie Schwartz at 923-3746 or valariekays at mac dot com

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