By Alicia Lacy
Killeen Daily Herald
They owned the night, and the building, too.
Traffic was flowing in and out of Club Hood with guests dressed in western attire for the 24th annual Fort Hood Officers' Wives Club Wild West Night.
The women took over Club Hood for a night in the Old West.
One of the club's biggest fundraising events of the year, the night offered a plethora of activities, including guests trying their luck at one of several blackjack tables, roulette or the Texas Hold 'Em tournament, dancing to music played by Zach Huckabee and the Offenders, bidding on items in the silent or live auctions or seeing how long they could last on the mechanical bull.
Ingrid Allen, wife of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's commander Col. Reginald Allen, tried her luck on the bull, lasting six seconds before she slipped off.
Unsuspecting attendees were arrested and thrown into a jail cell for 10 minutes, unless they could put up bond to pay their way out.
Fort Hood's Enlisted Spouses Club ran the jail, with deputized sergeants major making the arrests.
Since many of the organizers were new to the event, Angela "Annie" Oakley, event chair, said the committee wanted to put a modern twist on the annual fundraiser, with the Can-Can Girls dancing to Lady Gaga's "Poker Face," to appeal to a much younger crowd.
Karen Kaylor, president of Copperas Cove's VFW Ladies Auxiliary, said she's been coming to the Wild West night for the past five years.
"I come for the auctions," she said. "It's for a good cause, and it's a nice night out in a great atmosphere."
For this year's event, the club received a large number of donations from local businesses as well as businesses from across the state.
"It's been amazing," Oakley said. "People want to give and help us and the community because the organization supports the community."
Though attendance wasn't as large as it has been in past years, event organizers were confident the club would reach its fundraising goal of $40,000.
"Success in my eyes are people enjoying themselves and opening their wallets," Oakley said Saturday. "You can hear the screams and hoots."
All proceeds from the event are deposited into a welfare account and go back into the community through scholarships or donations made to charitable organizations.
Contact Alicia Lacy at email@example.com or (254) 501-7559. Follow her on Twitter at KDHfeatures.