extreme culture

Playing It Again


The good folks behind the South Brevard Sharing Center’s big annual fundraiser, “A Night in Casablanca,” always put a creative spin on the evening.

This year it’s no different. Organizer Keri Kolumbus Donald sought help from the Art Club at Jupiter Elementary, a school where 77 percent of the students are on free or reduced lunch programs. The art students then created a beautiful array of ceramic bowls which will be sold in the event’s “Empty Bowls” silent auction.

Now, of course, as the fundraiser helps raise money in part to buy food for hungry families across South Brevard, these bowls suggest the all-too human plight of the people the SBSC serves. The statements made by the children add such tender poignancy to it all. Here are some:

“If I could put anything in my bowl I would put sweet treats, because who doesn’t love sweet treats!” “If I could fill my bowl with anything it would be food for good memories and yummy memories.” “If I could fill my plate with anything it would be chocolate, candy, love and smiles. I hope you like it.”

All proceeds from the Empty Bowls auction will be spent to fill the shelves at the South Brevard Sharing Center pantry. Many of these children’s families access this pantry and others like it during the summer months when the free/reduced lunch program is not available.

Now although money is being raised for a serious issue, there’s no doubt that a whole lot of fun goes on at the event.

Guests get into the evening, dressing the many iconic parts in the 1942 movie, “Casablanca.” You’ll catch frequent suggestions of the cool, cynical Rick (Humphrey Bogart), an ex-pat and owner of the swankiest nightspot in Casablanca; and romantic, mysterious Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman). But I think it would be a hoot to embrace the dark, sinister side seen in roles fleshed out by Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Claude Rains and Conrad Veidt.

Whatever your alter ego, grab your feather boa and get into the mood by practicing “La Marseillaise” or “As Time Goes By.”

Admission begins at $90, which gets you Casablanca Dollars so you can play the gaming tables, desserts, one gaming raffle ticket and access to Mother’s Day silent auction. The $500 admission level is good for two people and has other goodies added on, including discounted rooms at the Hilton Rialto. There’s also a $10,000 cash raffle tickets for $100 and more.

The event runs 6:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, May 9, at the Hilton Melbourne Rialto Place, call 321-345-0393, email casablanca@mysbsc.org, visit http://mysbsc.org/casablanca or follow the event on Facebook at “A Night in Casablanca benefiting SBSC.”