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Casino Cruise: East Rowan YMCA hosts fundraiser

By Susan Shinn
Salisbury Post
ROCKWELL ó When Margaret Basinger organizes a fundraiser, she goes all out.
On April 26, Basinger and other members of the board at Saleeby-Fisher YMCA in Rockwell ó along with help from the Y staff and from students at East Rowan High School ó will put on their third East Y fundraiser, a Casino Cruise night.
The ship leaves the dock at 7 p.m. and comes back into port at 9:30 p.m. Tickets to come on board are $15 per person.
“OK, get the vision,” she says excitedly, and even in a noisy, crowded restaurant, you decide to go along with her.
“You are on a cruise ship and all dressed in your finery to go to the captain’s dinner,” she says. “Before dinner, you step out onto the deck and feel the breeze on your face. Mailvis will be singing.
(You wonder for a minute how Mailvis got onto the ship but you go with it.)
“You have coffee at the coffee bar provided by Starbucks or you have a slushy provided by Cheerwine. You can choose from more than two dozen donated desserts.
“Then, as you’re sitting at your table, which is all set up casino-style, you can peruse your auction booklet that lists close to 200 items provided by local merchants and individuals.
“Just when you think you can’t stand any more excitement, a live auction occurs right on deck!”
Rod Poole serves as the evening’s auctioneer.
Serving as the ship’s captain is Mike Wright, vice president of the East Y board. He’ll be assisted by his cruise director, the lovely Heather Dyer, the board president.
You have the option, Basinger says, of dressing for the captain’s table in cocktail attire, or you may choose to dress for the sun deck, in more casual attire.
It doesn’t matter what you wear, though. If you’ve been to other events at the East Y, you know they’re a good time, for a good cause.
The first fundraiser was for the Y’s capital campaign; the second raised money for East Rowan’s technology program and for Y scholarships. The Casino Cruise will also benefit both groups, according to Linda Bost, executive director, along with special projects.
The East Y recently finished a handicapped accessible walking trail, and money raised will go toward the purchase of benches for the trail.
“The benches will make it more handicapped accessible,” says Basinger, who walks with a cane.
The Casino Cruise will feature themed areas in which to bid for silent auction items.
The Sun Deck features beauty and fitness products.
Shore Excursions features everything from a spring turkey hunt in central North Carolina to four tickets to a UNC football or basketball game to a two-night stay at SeaWatch Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
The Galley has food items ó a variety of gift certificates to local restaurants, a wooden kitchen utility set and a wine essentials basket.
The Boiler Room has everything to do with vehicles ó oil changes, coupons for tires and the like.
In Baggage Claims, you may pick up a new purse or any number of handmade scarves and other items.
The Grand Ballroom also has variety ó handmade M&M candy machines, cleaning services, professional teeth whitening.
A “great big” Stohl utility trailer, valued at $1,350, is part of the live auction, as is a picnic table and a year’s membership to the East Y.
Basinger would like to see 250 people come and make bids next Saturday evening.
“Even if they just buy $25 worth of items, that’s more than we would have gotten,” she says. “There are large items and small items, so everybody can go home with something.”
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For more information about the Saleeby-Fisher YMCA’s Casino Cruise, call the Y at 704-279-1742.
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Contact Susan Shinn at 704-797-4289 or sshinn@salisburypost.com.

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