If you’ve never been to Las Vegas, the thought of planning a trip might seem a little intimidating. What do you want to see? What do you want to do? Where do you want to eat? Do you want to gamble (and do you have a limit)? Do you want to venture out to the Grand Canyon? Where are you going to stay? How are you going to get around? What time of the year is best to go? I could go on.

I have good news, though! If you decide to come to Bona Vista’s Viva Las Vista casino night event on Friday, Jan. 31, we have taken all of the guesswork and stress out of it! Let me answer some frequently asked questions for you.

When/Where? Friday, Jan. 31, at the Kokomo Country Club, 1800 Country Club Lame, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Cost? $30 each or $50 per couple (so grab a friend and save some money)

Do you have to know how to gamble? No. We have hired professional dealers designed to help you succeed (shout out to the Sertoma Group of Broadripple)!

Will you lose all your money if you don’t know what you’re doing, though? No. There is no money exchanged at this event (except for the purchase of your ticket). You play with chips.

If you’re not playing for money, what do you win? We have several raffle baskets for you to try to win. For every 25 poker chips you have left when gambling closes, you will get one raffle ticket. You can place that ticket in front of whatever prize you hope to win.

What are some of the prizes? We have an Indiana University basket full of swag and even tickets to an upcoming basketball game. We have a basket full of items from local boutique’s for the woman in your life (or yourself). We have a basket from our friends at Soupley’s Wine & Spirits. We also have items from White’s Meat Market, Chippendale Golf Course, Best Price Fireworks, Marie’s Car Wash, Top of the Line Auto Detail, Flip Salon, Kokomo Beach, Popcorn Café, Availed Property Management, and many more local businesses who we can’t thank enough.

What if I go “all in” or lose all my chips in some way? No worries. For $10 you can purchase an additional 15 poker chips and start again. Remember: the $10 is a donation to Bona Vista Programs, so it’s not really a loss.

What if I lose and don’t want to buy more chips? That’s totally an option, although a less fun one. You can dance on the dance floor to the music played by DJ T-Roy, eat a little more, or enjoy watching other people still gambling.

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Is there any possible way to win money at this event? We will have a 50/50 raffle. If you participate and your ticket is drawn, you’ll win half what has been collected over the course of the evening. But, like everything at this event, it’s a gamble.

What games will you have to play? We will have Blackjack, Craps, Poker, Wheel of Fortune, Roulette, Texas Hold ‘Em, Over/Under, just to name a few.

In Vegas there are food buffets. What do you have? A food buffet. We will have a variety of pizzas and breadsticks with cheese for you to enjoy before you start gambling or to carry around and eat during the event. We will also have yummy desserts made by the adults with special needs in Bona Vista’s Bistro group.

Will there be alcohol? The cash bar will be open. You are welcome to partake responsibly if you so choose. However, no servers will come around to your table, and the drinks aren’t unlimited while you gamble.

Can we smoke inside your casino? No. You will have to go outside, if needed.

Why should someone go? In addition to all of the fun I have already described that you will have above, you also will be supporting a local nonprofit who supports children and adults with special needs 365 days a year. Whether you walk away with a prize at the end of the night or not, you still won because Bona Vista won by your donation of the ticket price.

How do you get tickets? Visit bonavista.org and click on "events." You can also stop by any Bona Vista location and purchase them from the receptionist (until 4 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31). If you’re really a last minute decision maker, you can purchase them at the event! The more, the merrier!

Do we have any sponsors? Wow. We really appreciate you asking about them. We could not do these events without people like: Alliance Excavating, Advanced Medical Imaging, Beckley Office Equipment, City of First Federal Credit Union, Community First Bank, Duke Energy, Enterprise Fleet, First Bank of Berne, Grissom Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, JA Benefits, Kokomo New Car Dealers Association, Liberty Financial, Monroe Custom Homes, Dr. Thomas Prather, Smith Financial, and Sycamore Financial (as of the time of this writing)

After all of this, if you still have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. You can call me at 765-457-8273 ext. 335 or email me at abrantley@bonavista.org. Will luck truly be a lady? Only time will tell.