SFD to change ‘Big Money’ raffle to August casino event

— The Skaneateles Volunteer Fire Department is hoping to raise more money in 2013 by changing the date and the theme of its annual ‘Big Money’ raffle to something bigger and better, and at the Dec. 13 village board meeting asked the trustees for their approval of the idea.

The new event would be called “The High Stakes Raffle and Casino Event,” and be held from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013 in the Allyn Arena, SVFD Chief Eric Sell informed the board in a Dec. 10 letter.

The new casino event would replace the department’s ‘Big Money’ drawing held every year during the Fire Department Field Days celebrations over the Labor Day weekend.

SVFD President Jim Buff told the board that other area fire departments hold similar casino nights for their fundraisers and bring in much more money than the Skaneateles ‘Big Money’ raffle does. In addition to money raised through the raffle tickets – which would still be sold – a casino night would also have games of chance, food and drinks that would also raise money, Buff said.

The SVFD already has received permission from town officials to use the Allyn Arena for the event on Aug. 3, Buff said.

The village board unanimously approved the request.

Also at the meeting:

—The board officially accepted the resignation of Pat Blackler from her positions as village historian and member and interim chair of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Committee. The board also gave Blackler a plaque of appreciation and recognition for her “unwavering and devoted” years of service to the village as historian since 1996.

—Mayor Marty Hubbard told the rest of the board that the bid opening for the new village hall renovation work occurred Dec. 12 and went well, having 24 total bidders. The project is now on schedule for the interior work to be done by the end of April 2013, at which time the village offices should be able to reopen in the new building, Hubbard said. The exterior work should be completed by the end of June, he said.

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