A blackjack dealer works her table at Gaming Night at Nanny Cay. (Photo: SARIAH LAKE)

The rainy skies did not dampen the excitement at Gaming Night on Saturday at Nanny Cay.

Every table was packed with players, and the tented venue was alive with music and flashy attire that reflected the event theme of “Glitz and Glamour.”

The fundraiser, which is hosted annually by the Humane Society of the BVI, offered crab racing, blackjack, roulette, and musical entertainment by Jalena.

Guests bought chips of different values (ranging from $1 to $50) and took their chances late into the night.

Before leaving, they exchanged their winnings for donated prizes that ranged from toys and home decor to higher-ticket items such as spa vouchers, day sails and stays at Necker Island.

Planning for the event took about three months with the support of numerous dealers and other volunteers, organisers said.

Volunteer Peter Twist, director of Conch Charters, spent his night operating the roulette table for the first time.

“The experience was fantastic,” he said. “Many people said they thoroughly enjoyed it, especially knowing that even if they lost, it was going to a good cause.”

This attitude was reflected in the crowds as well.

“I’m enjoying the night,” said Oshane Mason, who was attending with his wife and brother-in-law. “I was here last year: It was wonderful, so I decided to come again this year.”

For schoolteacher Lexie Parsons, the highlight was the hermit crab races.

“This is my first time being here,” she said. “I was invited by a friend. The crab racing is really interesting.”

New animal shelter

Humane Society shelter manager Vijay Bissoondutt said the funds raised hadn’t been tabulated yet, but they will be very important for the organisation.

“We try to raise funds for the animals, and we’re trying to build a new facility in the near future in Josiahs Bay,” said Mr. Bissoondutt, who has worked at the existing shelter in Johnsons Ghut for 27 years.

He added that he hopes the development will get under way “very, very, very soon.”

Nancy Woodfield-Pascoe, a Humane Society board member, explained some of the challenges the organisation has faced with the project in recent years.

“We have land and we’ve got planning permission to build a new shelter,” she said. “We got set back when we had Hurricane Irma, because we had a lot of damage to the existing animal shelter which we had to repair. We’ve been saving money for many years.”

The Covid-19 pandemic, she said, acted as another roadblock to the new shelter.

During that time, many residents left the territory or lost their jobs, leaving behind pets or needing major assistance — and thereby overwhelming shelter resources.

Currently, the Humane Society is implementing a phased approach to fundraising, and it will release more information regarding its plans soon, according to Ms. Woodfield-Pascoe.