The newly formed Cougar Football Booster Club is holding a dinner and poker night as an inaugural fundraiser this weekend.

The idea to do a dinner and poker night came from one of the club’s board members who played in a different one for his daughter’s softball team in Phoenix, said organizer Mike Paulus.

“He said they raised a ton of money doing that,” Paulus said. “So we thought why not, it’s a good idea, we’ll try it.”

Held on Saturday, June 9, at the American Legion Post 40, 650 E. Road 3 South, dinner starts at 6 and goes until whenever, he said. The Texas Hold ‘Em tournament starts at 7 p.m. and goes until midnight. The dinner is $10 and there is a $50 buy-in for the tournament.

Along with the dinner and tournament is a silent auction that includes a gun scope, a lift kit by Summit Jeep Racing, two cards that have an $800 each with five free oil changes and other free things and $200 in DeWalt tools from Lowes, Paulus said. Organizer Rhiannon Gianfrancesco also mentioned some handcrafted glass vases and drawings in-between poker blinds for gift cards.

Dinner is going to be catered by Arturos Mexican Restaurant, Casa Grande and El Charro Norte who are donating all the food, Paulus said. There’s also a possibility that they might go get some ground beef at Safeway for a taco bar, he said. The American Legion’s bar will be open for anyone wanting a drink as well, Paulus said.

“I have a feeling it’s going to be huge,” he said. “We want to go big, we need as much money as we can.”

Ideally the goal of the Cougar Football Booster Club is to buy things for the football program, but the organization has big things in mind, Paulus said. There is no permanent restroom at the football field and the hope is to see if some community businesses could come together, donate time and money and build them for the school, he said. It’s a $60,000 goal and something they’re going to work on after the fundraiser, Paulus said.

As a whole, he said he wants to make sure that the newly formed organization keeps going long after his and Gianfrancesco’s kids graduate.

“We want people to take over this after we’ve gone. We’re looking forward to having this booster club last,” Paulus said. “We’re not going to throw this together and have it last a year, we want to do … a fundraiser a month, come up with other ideas where people might be interested in doing stuff.”

The club is also going to take over the snack bar with that money going towards the booster club, he said. Eventually, they want to raise enough money to continue to primarily be a football booster club but make it so where if any Chino Valley school sports team needs something, they can come to them, Paulus said.

For more information, call Paulus at 928-899-5606.