Lake Norman & Mooresville

North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club gambles on big fundraiser

The North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club will be hosting its Denim and Diamonds Casino Night on March 18 at Langtree Plantation in Mooresville. Last year’s theme was Saddles and Spurs. The group has raised a club-record amount of money during the past six months.
The North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club will be hosting its Denim and Diamonds Casino Night on March 18 at Langtree Plantation in Mooresville. Last year’s theme was Saddles and Spurs. The group has raised a club-record amount of money during the past six months. North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club

More than 100 patrons will enjoy games of chance as part of the North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club’s Denim and Diamonds Casino Night on March 18.

But the beneficiaries of the local organization’s fourth annual fundraising event have an appreciation for coping with the true high stakes of life.

A handful of charities with ties to the Lake Norman area whose missions include combating poverty, housing assistance, housing accessibility, education scholarships, and hospice care, are benefiting by the North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club’s record-breaking fundraising year.

The club, which has promoted and supported local social causes forl onger than 100 years, has already raised a club record $48,000 since October. Club leaders are hoping Casino Night, the group’s highest grossing fundraiser that caps its event season, can add $20,000 to the pot.

“From the beginning of the year when I took on this role, I’ve been surrounded by a wonderful team of women who are dedicated to what we’re doing and to serving our community,” said Dana Greshko, the club’s vice president of fundraising. “People have gotten on board and understand (raising money is) for the charities and not for us.”

Denim and Diamonds Casino Night will be held at Mooresville’s Langtree Plantation. Tickets start at $100 and are available at www.nmwclub.org.

Admission includes Las Vegas-style gaming, a buffet and drinks, live music, an auction and raffle. Participants can dress in a denim and diamonds theme.

In addition to Casino Night, the club also hosted the inaugural Remember When Homecoming Dance in October, and the Christmas-themed Over the Top and Red, White and Green events before the holidays. The club also conducts smaller fundraisers throughout the year and holds monthly meetings at NorthStone Country Club in Huntersville.

The North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club has about 190 members, which according to Anna Roth is about three times as many as when she joined the club about 12 years ago. The growth helps with the amount of money it raises, but the jump from last year to this year has more to do with an increase in corporate giving, says Greshko.

“We put a new plan in place,” she said. “I’m a big advocate of recognizing people when they support us. I think as people saw that was happening, more members were on board.”

Attending last year’s Saddles and Spurs Casino Night was club member Cheryl Pletcher and her husband, Wayne, who were dolled up in their most elaborate cowgirl and cowboy garb, respectively. Casino Night’s appeal to spouses and other males adds to its popularity.

Pletcher is executive director of Carolina Comfort Coalition whose Serenity House locations in Mooresville and Huntersville provide shelter and family care when a hospice family is unable to provide that care. She is looking forward to playing a little poker, but will also volunteer by manning the registration table and selling 50-50 chance tickets.

Serenity House is one of the five main designated charities benefiting from the club’s giving season. It is also a volunteer-driven organization, but has an annual budget of about $336,000.

“We don’t send out any bills (to families),” said Pletcher. “People think ‘isn’t that kind of crazy?’ It’s been miraculous the way money comes in.”

Anne Crawford is the founder of Caterpillar Ministries whose trailer facility is located in the Huntingdon Green Mobile Home Park in Huntersville. Staff and volunteers provides after school tutoring services and English language classes to non-English speaking parents.

Crawford, a North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club member, says club donations cover about 10 percent of Caterpillar’s $90,000 annual budget that helps provide financial assistance to families who get behind in rent, food bills and utility payments.

Caterpillar Ministries has been one of North Mecklenburg Woman’s Club’s five primary beneficiaries over the past three years. In addition to Serenity House, the other primary charities are Hope House Foundation, Purple Heart Homes and ANSWER Scholarship.

Those five organizations receive 80 percent of the club’s funds while secondary organizations benefit from the rest.

Annually, the charities are selected by a committee of club members. Greshko says the club is receiving applications to be considered for next year’s giving.

Joe Habina is a freelance writer: joehabina@yahoo.com.

Want to go?

Denim and Diamonds Casino Night will be held at Mooresville’s Langtree Plantation. Tickets start at $100 and are available at www.nmwclub.org.

  Comments