DANVILLE — Have you ever wanted to go on a ride-along with a Danville police officer, learn how Quaker Chewy granola bars are made or enjoy a meal prepared by your own personal chef?
You have a chance to bid on those activities and more — and raise money to help local abused and neglected children — at CASA of Vermilion County's fundraiser Friday evening.
The organization will host a "A Night at the Races and Hometown Celebrity Auction" at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 310 Bryan Ave., Danville.
A happy hour will be held 6 to 7 p.m. and the horse races will begin at 7 p.m.
The event is open to the public. Tickets are $10 apiece and are advance tickets are available from CASA board members, Bud's Cellular at 22 N. Jackson St., online at http://www.casavermilion.org or by calling the office at 446-5975. Tickets also will be available at the door.
Harith Tamimie, a retired Danville High School teacher and longtime "voice of DHS football," will serve as master of ceremonies.
"This will be a fun, casual night out," Executive Director Paul Gallagher said.
Organizers hope to raise about $10,000 for the agency, which has served 72 children through 50 volunteer advocates so far this year.
"People can watch thoroughbred horse races up on a big screen. They can also participate in our hometown celebrity auction packages, which will provide them with really good insight to things such as the city, Vermilion County, Danville Area Community College and the fire department."
All ticket holders are qualified to enter a grand prize drawing for a new iPad3.
People also can "bet" on races at a cost of $1 per pick. Bettors who chose a winning horse qualify for special prize drawings after each race.
In addition, people can pay $10 per horse to become a horse owner. Horse owners qualify for a special drawing to win at least $100 cash.
People can also bid on a number of auction packages featuring hometown celebrities. Paul Sermersheim will serve as the auctioneer.
Among other things, bidders have a chance to:
— Become a football "insider" with Danville High School football coach B.J. Luke, receiving an all-access pass for the 2012 homecoming game, locker room, field and all areas and listening to Luke's before-game strategy, pregame pep talk and halftime motivational speech.
— Take hitting lessons with former major league baseball player Darrin Fletcher. The winner will take home autographed baseball cards and a baseball.
— See how Quaker Chewy Granola bars and cereal are made at the Danville plant. The winner must be 18 or older.