Marion prepares to host casino night for charity

Published 9:10pm Thursday, July 5, 2012

Although the money won at next month’s Marion Casino Night, which benefits the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life of Perry County, won’t be real, the prizes will be.

The event, slated for Saturday, Aug. 4 from 6-10 p.m. at the Gateway Restaurant in Marion, will feature 14 slot machines, eight blackjack tables, three poker tables, two roulette tables and one craps table for participants to play over the course of the evening.

Following nearly three hours of gambling, Ellen Richardson, event fundraising chair, said attendees would have the opportunity to bid on items at an auction using the money they’ve won throughout the night. All proceeds raised will benefit both the American Cancer Society and Relay for Life of Perry County.

“There’s nothing here for the people in Perry County,” Richardson said. “There’s so many people who have no resources whatsoever here and we’re trying to set up a store that can help people with wigs and scarves and things like that, and everything in there will be free. Right now, we don’t have a place to even have a storefront.”

Tickets to the event, which is hosted and sponsored by the Gateway Restaurant, are $30 in advance and $40 at the door, and include heavy d’oeuvres, one drink and $500 worth of poker chips.

Richardson said gambling experience is not necessary for participants, as professional dealers and staffers will be walking around the restaurant to help them, if needed.

Ten items, including an iPad, laptop and other items that retail for no less than $50 will be auctioned and raffled off, Richardson said.

If, after three hours of gambling, participants have nothing to cash in before the auction and wish to participate, Richardson said a table will be set up so people can purchase $250 worth of play money to use in the auction and raffle for $20.

In addition to building a store to help provide free items to those affected by cancer, Richardson said she and the event’s other organizers were hopeful to bring a Relay for Life event back to Perry County next year.

“Now that we’ve kicked off a few things, we’ve gotten some things running and aren’t going to stop,” she said. “We’re trying to raise money, as much as we can, so we can continue to have an organization here in Perry County where our people can go to.”

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