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October 18, 2005 > Viola Blythe Center presents Country Casino Night

Viola Blythe Center presents Country Casino Night

by Linda Stone

Viola Blythe, a name synonymous with caring, is hosting a Country Casino Night at the Newark Pavilion on Friday, Oct. 21 from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. This is a chance for the center to raise much-needed funds for their outreach programs.

The center offers free services to those in need of food, baby food and formula, clothing, school uniforms and maintains a children's shoe fund. They also act as a referral service to other agencies.

Viola Blythe's mother died during childbirth, and Viola, the ninth child out of 11, was sent to an orphanage at age four with three siblings until she was 9-years-old. Her young life was filled with hunger and deprivation and she vowed that if her circumstances improved, she would do something to prevent or soften such problems for others. As an adult, she helped homeless, helpless and hungry men, women and children in the Tri-Cities for over 40 years and today her daughter Debbie Caravalho continues her mission.

In 1989, the city of Newark, leased Viola a small building for a dollar a year where the Viola Blythe Community Services Center exists today. Viola retired and Debbie, who had been working as a caseworker at the Salvation Army, was asked to become the program director. The center now exists through donations and volunteers. By 2003 they helped 7,500. In her later years, Viola could often be found at the center until her death, July 5, 2002.

Debbie says that many who support the center give all year and she is especially touched by those who have passed through the loving arms of Viola and her legacy to reach stability in their lives, then return to give back. "We are not a welfare department or restricted by governmental red tape, we can assist anyone who comes here and needs help." Some are simply going through a "rough patch" in their lives and move on to become self-sustaining citizens and even business owners.

The event will include slot machines, 50/50 raffle, craps, roulette, blackjack, silent auction and a Texas Hold-em (No Limit) Poker Tournament.

Casino play and dinner tickets advance purchase is $45 per person and $75 per couple; and $50 & $90 at the door. Ticket includes BBQ dinner, 30 Vegas Magic Points for casino and an entry for raffle prizes. Casino/dinner/Texas Hold-em (No Limit) ticket includes BBQ dinner, 30 Vegas Magic Points for casino, entry into Texas Hold-em tournament (1,000 Vegas Magic Points for Tournament only; grand prize is half the purse. Seating is limited and begins at 8 p.m. Advance purchase is $65 per person and $70 per person at the door.

Sponsorships are available from $100 to $1000. Please contact Debbie Caravalho at (510)794-3437 for more information. All donations are tax deductible.

Viola Blythe Country Casino Night
Friday, Oct. 21
7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Newark Pavilion
6430 Thornton Ave., Newark
(510) 794-3437

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