Critter Talk Column

Countdown to Canines, Cats, and Cabernet is on. As you read this, it’s only five days away, on March 18. For the Corinne T. Smith Animal Center (CTSAC), this event is hugely important. In addition to just being lots of fun, Canines, Cats, and Cabernet is what lets CTSAC finish the year in the black.

We depend on the funds so generously given during this event by the members of our community. Without your support, our shelter would not be what it is today. There will always be needed fixes and changes, but Brownwood has something to be proud of in CTSAC. Canines, Cats, and Cabernet is a great way to support our animal shelter, and have a blast doing it.

The doors to The Depot Civic Center will open at 5 p.m. on Friday. As you enter the event, you will be handed a glass of champagne and also a poker chip sponsored by Hi-Way Auto, that gives you $5,000 worth of gaming. Just inside the door will be our intrepid board member, Dave Olhausen, with a box of chips of differing denominations. For only $10, you will have one opportunity to draw another chip from the box. You might draw one for $2,500 or possibly one for up to $10,000 worth of play.

If you aren’t a gambler, we will have a special drawing which you can only enter with the $5,000 chip you receive at the door. If you decide to play later, you can always buy chips in the casino.

At 5 p.m., both silent and live auction items will be available to peruse. Bidding on silent auction starts immediately. We have some really interesting things in the silent auction this year, thanks to all the work of Sherry Bailey, so you will want to go back and update your bids as the evening moves on.

Throughout the evening, chances will be sold for the 50/50 raffle. For $5 you can purchase five chances to win 50 percent of the amount brought in by sales of those tickets. The other 50 percent will go to the animal shelter.

At 5:30, the casino will open and the games begin. Thanks to the inopportune rain last year, this year there will be three times the room and three times the games. We always love the rain, but it definitely cramped our casino last year.

To play, you start with the chips you received at the door. The dealers at the table will exchange them for the chips you will play with. As you run out of chips, our beautiful Chip Chicks will be at hand to sell you more. $5,000 in rebuys of casino play will only be $10 and rebuys of $15,000 of play is only $20.

You won’t want to spend all night in the casino though, because thanks to local restaurants, chefs, and bakers, we will have lots of delicious food available. You won’t want to miss it. And, of course, wine and a variety of other drinks will also be available.

The silent auction closes at 8 p.m. Winners will be listed on a chart beside the pay-out table. Be sure to check to see whether you won what you bid on. You must be present to win in the silent auction, so don’t go away until you check it out.

The casino will close at 8:30, at which time you trade your chips in for tickets to win prizes in a drawing of about 20 very cool things. You drop those tickets in the box of the item or items you want to win. The drawing will take place along with the live auction.

At that time, we will all gather in the front room, where the live auction will take place. The last thing in the evening will be the drawing for the 50/50 raffle.

I hope everyone is making plans to be there. Tickets are $60 each, and are available at CTSAC, Steves’ Market, KOXE, Wendlee Broadcasting, and Depot Liquor. For more information, call us at 325-646-0617.