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NEW LAWS ON GAMES TO BENEFIT SCHOOL

The hurricanes that ravaged Florida also dashed plans for the annual orange and grapefruit sale by St. Paul's School in Kenmore. However, two laws permitting games of chance that apparently won voter approval Tuesday give the school another means of raising the expected $15,000.

As result, the Catholic school is laying out plans for a casino- or Las Vegas-themed fund-raising event this December.

"The laws will certainly benefit our school; we are very excited," Principal Louise M. Lopardi said. "Up to this time, we haven't been able to have a casino night or Las Vegas night because we didn't want to break the law. But we'll be able to go forward with a fund-raiser to compensate for the fruit sale being gone."

The money will go toward reducing the school's budget deficit, buying textbooks and funding programs.

Mayor John W. Beaumont said that in the last few years, charitable organizations urged a change in the law to allow games of chance as a way of raising money.

"It's primarily for nonprofit groups to have fund-raising activities and raise extra money, and now they have the go-ahead," Beaumont said.

One proposition to allow games such as roulette, blackjack and raffles is ahead in the vote count, 1,783 to 1,066. A second proposition on bingo leads by a vote of 2,157 to 789. Three of the village's 17 districts remain to be counted. A job that won't be completed until the middle of the month when absentee ballots are tallied.

The Rev. Robert Pascoe, pastor of Kenmore United Methodist Church, said that on principle, his church will choose not to benefit from the propositions. "The United Methodist Church denomination is opposed to gambling; we don't endorse using gambling for any reasons," he said. "It doesn't contribute to the welfare of the family or society."

Village Attorney Daniel F. Novak said charitable organizations that are interested in taking advantage of the new laws will first have to file an authorization application with the state Racing and Wagering Board and then pay a $25 licensing fee to the village.

Novak said the Police Department will supervise all events featuring games of chance.

e-mail: esapong@buffnews.com

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