Chili Bingo Night benefits Carson City schools band programs

Carson High School Blue Thunder members Pablo Salgado, left, Brett Barbarigos and Alexis Garcia Perez perform at the school’s homecoming game on Sept. 24 against McQueen High School. The band is preselling tickets for its Chili Bingo Night fundraiser on Oct. 15. (Photo: Jessica Garcia/Nevada Appeal)

Carson High School Blue Thunder members Pablo Salgado, left, Brett Barbarigos and Alexis Garcia Perez perform at the school’s homecoming game on Sept. 24 against McQueen High School. The band is preselling tickets for its Chili Bingo Night fundraiser on Oct. 15. (Photo: Jessica Garcia/Nevada Appeal)

Carson High School’s Blue Thunder Marching Band’s biggest fundraiser of the year takes place from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 15 in the school’s gym at 1111 N. Saliman Road. Students are preselling tickets and encouraging community members to join in the multi-faceted campaign.
The event began when Nick Jacques was teaching at Carson Middle School and says he encourages programs at both levels now as a high school band director to carry on the fundraiser.
The evening offers four opportunities for participation, starting with presale raffle tickets that students have been working to distribute since mid-September.
“The prizes were donated by area businesses so we are earning 100 percent on every ticket sold,” Jacques said. “Half of each ticket sold by a student will go toward their individual band fees and the other half will go toward new instrument storage, instrument repairs and equipment.”
Upgrades are needed to allow Carson High’s band program to compete with top schools in the area, so every dollar helps, Jacques said.
On the night of the event, there will be a drawing.
The fundraiser also offers bingo games with 12 prizes.
The third opportunity is a silent auction offering more prizes and gift packages available, all donated by local businesses.
Prizes include a private flight over Lake Tahoe, two all-day lift tickets at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe during the 2021-22 season for a value of $270, $30 gift certificate to Comma Coffee and $25 gift certificate to LuLaRoe, five guest passes to the Nevada Museum of Art, a $250 gift certificate for any service at the Lone Mountain Veterinary Hospital, one-night stay and four buffets at Atlantis Casino Resort Spa and others.
Jacques said there are many regular sponsors who have been contributing since the program’s inception, but program volunteers also help to go out annually and ask for donations via letter and received through the mail or on the spot. Others might be more willing to support the program through a service such as advertising rather than providing a gift certificate.
“We’ve had some that have donated every single year, but we will go anywhere and everywhere that we think might be a good fit for a prize or a raffle item,” he said. “Sometimes they are ones that might be a company that can put in ad space and they put it in our program for a year instead since that will garner better business.”
Finally, there will be a chili cookoff, and Jacques said anyone can enter the contest. Those interested are asked to bring their own precooked chili in a crockpot or to bring a portable burner to keep their chili warm as well as a ladle. Entrants will be asked to serve their chili for the entire hour or until their supply runs out. Winners will be announced at the event, with categories including best-tasting chili, people’s choice best-tasting chili and best-named chili. The first-place prize for best-tasting chili, to be decided by a judging panel, is $50. People’s choice wins $25 and best-named chili first place wins $10.
The form for entry is online at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSepRq4PmQDA1QzD_aAtMFFDF_a79vUilMJp2qTq7HP4um4bvw/viewform.
The entire event takes in about $10,000 in all, with more than 50 percent of the students raising those funds through the presale tickets. The funds benefit the students directly and go into their accounts for instrument repairs all throughout their high school program.
“It’s really a win-win for everybody,” he said.
Winners don’t have to be present to win, he said, but “if you’re not present, you’re not seeing all the other amazing items that we have available at the silent auction and bingo … and it’s a fun, family-friendly evening of free admission.”
Jacques said tickets can be bought through the students, but if it’s difficult to locate one prior to the event, they can be purchased in advance by e-mailing him at njacques@carson.k12.nv.us or last minute before the raffle itself.

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