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Ripon Rotary big winner thanks to successful poker & bingo effort
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The top two Ripon Rotary Club poker tournament winners took home a combined $750 from the Friday night event that netted thousands of dollars for community service projects. Mike Garcia, a former Rotary president, took first place honors receiving $500 and Victor Ayala, a longtime Sheriffs deputy from Ripon, won the second spot for $300. - photo by Photo courtesy of Ripon Rotary

Ripon Rotary Club’s community service budget for the community has increased thousands of dollars after a Poker and Bingo tournament that was held Friday night in the Community Center.

While the crowd was reportedly less than in recent years, a new silent auction and a greater number of sponsors supporting the Rotary’s humanitarian causes made up the difference, according to a club spokesman.

In addition to the $500 first place award, former Rotary President Mike Garcia took home the coveted Rotary champion bracelet. Second place went to Ripon’s Victor Ayala with a $300 award. The third, fourth and fifth place finishers each received a check for $200.

“I want to thank everyone for their hard work, dedication toward our event last Friday night,” said current president Zac Crawford. “It was nice to see Garcia finally win one.”

Crawford said he doesn’t have the final numbers on the funds raised, adding it should be between $6,000 and $8,000. More than half will be going back to the community in support of the club’s third grade dictionary project – where every third grader will receive a hard bound dictionary of their very own once again next year.

The new funds will also support several other local and international projects conducted by Ripon Rotary. The club meets Wednesdays at noon at Spring Creek Golf and Country Club.