When Ormsby House general manager Bob Cashell hit the jackpot at rival casino Pinon Plaza this week, even the veteran gamer couldn't help but get excited.
"I don't remember ever winning something like that," Cashell said after his name was pulled from the barrel and he won a Toyota 4x4 raffled to benefit the Boys & Girls Club of Western Nevada.
But he knew right away he would somehow turn the prize back over to the club to help with additional fund-raising efforts.
"Every time I go to a function that has a raffle, I buy a handful of tickets. You do that to help a good cause, not so much to win anything, and if you get some of the excitement like I did Tuesday night, it's worth it," Cashell said.
The 1990 Toyota, donated by Carson Toyota-Mazda owner Dick Campagni and worth about $11,000, had been on display in the Pinon Plaza's casino since September and employees there bought about 800 of the $10 raffle tickets, Boys & Girls Club executive director Cathy Blankenship said.
Carson Toyota-Mazda general manager Dana Whaley pulled Cashell's name from the barrel at Tuesday evening's drawing and Campagni gave the winner a call.
"Dick and Bob are old friends, so Bob thought it was a joke when Dick told him he won," Blankenship said.
Cashell said he wanted to make sure the club benefited again from the Toyota SUV, by donating it back for another drawing, selling it and donating the money, or some other way.
"Dick Campagni and (Pinon Plaza partner) Clark Russell have done a great thing for the Boys & Girls Club," said Cashell, who used to be a partner with Russell in the Carson Station hotel and casino.
By Thursday morning, Cashell had heard from his children and grandchildren, with the consensus being that having a nice four-wheel-drive Toyota in the family might be a good thing.
So Cashell told Blankenship he would buy a new Toyota for the club to offer as a prize in another fund-raiser. Campagni will work with the factory to get the best deal on the car Cashell will donate. And the Boys & Girls Club will have a second car auction this year, probably awarding it at its annual auction at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in August.
"Why don't you check with all the casino properties and you can rotate displaying it," Cashell suggested to Blankenship. "It doesn't have to stay at the Ormsby House. The important thing is for the kids to get the most benefit out of it."
Blankenship said it was great to have the chance to give away a car at the Aug. 26, 2000, auction, which is the club's main fund-raiser, netting over $100,000 each of the past two years. She said the car raffle should help attract even more people to the next auction.
Campagni has donated a car for the club to raffle for the past five years, she said. The past two years when the vehicle has been displayed at the Pinon Plaza have been the most successful, with Tuesday's raffle expected to bring about $8,000 to the club, she said. Cashell estimated he bought about $300-$400 worth of tickets.
Club assistant executive director Mark Jacoby said the club benefits from several cooperative efforts such as Carson City Toyota-Mazda's and the Pinon Plaza's. He said club members and staffers volunteered at the Halloween haunted house at the Ormsby House, which raised $10, 941 for the club.