Copperas Cove Buyers Club holds 2nd annual casino night
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The three blackjack tables stayed full along with the poker tables, roulette wheel and craps table for the Copperas Cove Buyers’ Club’s 2nd annual casino night, held Saturday to benefit FFA and 4-H students in Copperas Cove.
The evening also featured all-you-can eat tacos, margaritas, beer, along with sweet and unsweet tea, and a lineup of door prizes, silent auctions, a live auction, and three 52-card gun raffles.
After expenses, the initial tally for funds raised is roughly $5,025, which the club will use toward bidding on students’ entries that qualify for the annual premium auction at the close of the Coryell County Youth Fair in January.
Gretchen McWhorter, president of the Buyers’ Club, said the event grew from last year, with club members all pitching in to plan the event.
“Everyone worked together to go business to business, asking for donations and sponsorships,” McWhorter said. “We even had donations and sponsorships from club members.”
“Last year, we had to work so hard to sell the first card raffle, but the guns were a big hit this year,” she added. One of the handguns was donated by Robert Terry with Terry Enterprises.
With approximately 140 in attendance, numbers were up from last year. McWhorter said this year some of the newer attendees were from the “ag side” of the local area.
“We had a lot of older folks there, an older generation there, and I think they helped a lot,” she added. “We’re reaching the generation that does the hunting and the ag side of the house, a little bit better this year than last year.”
McWhorter said she was happy to see folks sitting elbow to elbow, visiting, enjoying the food and each other’s company and also being ready to bid on the live and silent auctions. She knows they had the kids in mind for the evening.
“I consider the FFA kids and 4-H kids my kids, and they’re going to get that money in January. If we can keep getting the word out about FFA and 4-H in Copperas Cove, we could get to be as big as Lampasas,” she said.
Amanda Anderson, FFA director for Copperas Cove, said that there are about 383 students in Copperas Cove. FFA isn’t limited to agriculture alone, but also includes fine arts, home economics, and other areas. She hopes support—and the number of students—will continue to grow.
“This year, for the first time, we had three students qualify for Nationals in agriculture science,” Anderson said. Kids can start getting involved in FFA as young as eight years old, or the third grade.
She was pleased to see the event do so well on Saturday night in raising funds to benefit the kids.
“It’s amazing to see the turnout from the community,” Anderson said.
Usually, the buyers’ club raises $10,000 to $14,000 each year, which includes the raffles it holds and also asking local business owners for help. Like last year, part of that funding comes from the casino night.
This year Dustin Shuffler with Shuffler Show Pigs donated a $500 voucher for a feeder pig. Among the live auction items was a wooden and metal bench built by the Copperas Cove FFA welding and woodshop students.
McWhorter said that longtime supporters Ace Hardware, have supported the club for “forever and a day,” as have businesses like Cove Feed & Seed, which although closed as of July 1, donated a silent auction item. Also donating this year were D & D Feed, Cinergy Cinemas, Tanya at the Hair Artist, Project Scuba, Bits ‘N Bites Cake Shop, Tractor Supply Lampasas, Donna Herring, Else Meier, along with the Sjule, Lautenschlager, McAnally, Valdez, and Anderson families.