Casino Night Fundraiser



The San Diego County Optometric Society held a successful social event and fundraiser on Saturday, August 29, 2009 at the Braille Institute in La Jolla, Ca. The Fundraiser was a dining, dancing and casino evening with proceeds of the event going toward the good works of the Braille Institute of San Diego.     Casino tables were set, fabulous caterers were brought in, an open bar was established, a great band of musicians set up, and the huge banquet room looked as festive as a Las Vegas Extravaganza at a grand opening.

Seventy to eighty Society members, sponsors, and their invited guests enjoyed dinner and dancing, and played casino games (for play money) to their heart’s content in a room decorated with posters from Harold’s Club in Reno, balloons filled with helium, table decorations designed for special casino events, and food from America, Mexico, and Asia, along with fabulous desserts, coffees and teas and wines from the world over. All of this was going on while guests were signing in on silent auctions and checking out the numbers on tickets as fabulous prizes were being raffled off.

Decorating began at 4 pm for the 7 pm event, with spouses and board members blowing up balloons, tacking up posters, and setting up tables with centerpieces, raffle prizes, and auction items. They completed everything well before 6:00, at which time the caterers, gambling company and band began setting up.     Many spouses of board members pitched in including Dr. Newman’s wife Bunny who went around selling all the raffle tickets, Dr. Huang’s husband David, Dr. Peschke’s husband Scott, and Dr. Sherman’s wife Patti who helped set decorate and clean up the banquet hall, and Dr. Lisa Weiss’ husband Justin went around shooting photos to document the event.

President Dr. Minna Huang, who put together the arrangements for everything with her “team” well in advance, was totally blown away by how wonderfully it all came together. “THANK YOU ALL,” she stated in her email to the board members, “for your hard work and support of our fundraiser. So many of you and your spouses were involved in the behind-the-scenes effort of putting the event together and helping to make last night go smoothly…how do I begin to express my appreciation? It was a lot of fun, and I got a lot of positive feedback from sponsors and members, and each time somebody had something nice to say about the night, I made sure they knew it was a board team effort.”

Our Administrative Assistant, Nancy-Jo Sinkiewicz, had this to say, “I don’t know about you but I am still in awe of how well it turned out for being the first time. The effort put out by all involved was phenomenal.”    At press time the total amount collected from the fundraiser is estimated to be over $5000.

The Braille Institute picks up where optometrists and ophthalmologists leave off in the efforts to protect eyesight when nothing more can be done. They have worked miracles at a seemingly impossible responsibility to teach those who have ultimately lost their sight to live as normal a life as possible.