Above: Celebrity Blackjack dealers was part of the fun during Casino Night. Above Santa Paula Fire Chief Rick Araiza deals cards. The Blackjack tables were busy throughout the night. Below: The silent auction was part of the evening giving partcipants a chance to bid on various items including these flowers.

‘Tourists’ enjoy ‘Caribbean Getaway!’
benefiting Aviation Museum of SP

May 23, 2014
Santa Paula News

Hundreds of “tourists” were able to “Ride and wistle” in the traditional Jamaican way of doing more than one thing at the same time at the Wine, Wings & Winnings “Caribbean Getaway!” benefiting the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula.

This year’s theme focused on the many different cultures, foods, dress and even gambling of the Caribbean Islands to raise funds for the nonprofit museum’s Hangar 1, where the Silent Auction and event dinner were held.

The Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is a String of Hangars offering fabulous aircraft, collections and culture of those who take to the sky; Hangar 1 concentrates on the history of the famed airport, which opened in 1930.

Among the “Famous Dealers” was Barbara “Lady Luck HA!” Kroon, who, from the large tropical flower in her hair to flip-flops decorated with fruit and hibiscus on her feet, showed it was a sure bet she would be having fun.

If Judy McCarthy, who each year organizes the museum’s major fundraiser, had one regret it was, “I wasn’t able to find a dreadlock wig in time!” for Famous Dealer Bob “Ever Smilin’” Orlando.

“... and I would have worn it!” exclaimed Orlando. 

Other Famous Dealers having their way with Blackjack and eager gamblers were Fire Chief Rick “Hot Shot” Araiza, Linda “The Lady” Bartleson, Sheila “Scamp” Collier, Don “Kiss Your Money Goodbye” Johnson and Don “Takin’ It To the Bank” Tello. 

But before the gambling started there was time to admire a special seaplane on display, salsa tasting by Santa Paula Salsa Co./Red Hot Foods, dinner with a Caribbean influence followed by Janice Dickenson’s famous pineapple upside cake, which deliciously fit the theme. 

“We had a rush of last minute and at the door guests,” challenging for any event, but “I’m happy with the turnout,” said Aviation Museum of Santa Paula President Judy Phelps, proudly showing off the improvements to the hangar housing not only airport history memorabilia but also the museum gift shop. 

The mission of the museum is to “educate the public of all ages in aviation and its history, both in general and as it relates to Santa Paula, and to inspire, motivate, and challenge the younger generation to carry on the dreams of our aviation pioneers.”

The Silent Auction had dozens of prizes for those who love aviation with the Flights of Fancy category offering everything from scenic flights or flight lessons, flight training, and spins and cruises in various vintage aircraft.

Other Silent Auction categories offered Baskets, Buckets & Art; Events & Activities; Eat, Drink & Be Merry; Deluxe Baubles and Miscellaneous Goods & Goodies... there was something for everyone in the display that-along with event sponsors-demonstrated the wide support attracted to the aviation museum.

Each guest had $500 of “funny money” to gamble with and aside from blackjack Lady Luck beckoned with a Big Wheel, craps or roulette.

At the end of the evening “winnings” were turned in and tickets given based on the value of the funny money and entered into a drawing for getaways to Las Vegas for some real gambling.

Each guest also received a special commemorative wine glass noting the event and many were able to brag they have a glass from each year.

“It’s going super-well,” McCarthy said later as the tables were filled and excited shouts were heard from winners, as “The weather is even Caribbean-like, isn’t it?” 

The Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is open the First Sunday Open House at Santa Paula Airport and other times by appointment. 

For more information about the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula or the First Sunday Open House call 805-525-1109 or visit www.amszp.org

The nonprofit museum is located at 800 E. Santa Maria St.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.