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A winning blackjack hand adds to the fun at Richardson East Rotary Casino Night.

By Tom Brooks
The odds are great that patrons of Richardson East Rotary Club’s annual Casino Party will have a great time while raising money for worthwhile local and worldwide causes. The club will host its 19th annual event Jan. 30 at the Richardson Civic Center, entertaining more than 350 patrons with food, gambling, a silent auction and entertainment.

“The event is a fun time, but the results goes deeper when we give away money earned because of the generosity of our patrons,” said Kathy Higgins, president of Richardson East Rotary Club.
The biggest beneficiaries of the fundraiser are graduating seniors from the Richardson Independent School District, who see the results in the form of college scholarships. The club also contributes in other ways to RISD schools, plus donates to the Rotary Dental Clinic, YMCA, The Counseling Center, the Network of Community Ministries, Richardson Adult Literacy Center and other local and international efforts.

The 2014 event set a record for fundraising and the club wants to top that this year.
“It’s a lot of hard work for our members, but we’re getting pretty good at it,” said D. Schieferstein, chairman of the 2015 event. “We have a great sense of accomplishment, especially when it’s over and we get to give away the money.”

Silent auction items come from the generosity of businesses and merchants in the area. In addition, many businesses buy sponsorships at various levels to help fund the event.
Besides local charities, Richardson East Rotary contributes to Rotary International projects. The signature international project is PolioPlus, an effort launched in 1985 to rid the world of polio. Since the effort’s inception, the crippling disease has been eradicated from dozens of countries. Currently, the polio virus is isolated in three countries.

Richardson East Rotary also contributes to international clean water projects and the Wheelchair Foundation. Using the partnership between Rotary and the Wheelchair Foundation, the club is responsible for placing more than 1,200 new, sturdy wheelchairs around the world.
The silent auction will include items in every price range. Items include gift cards for local restaurants, sports memorabilia, themed gift baskets, theater tickets, sports tickets, a vacation house rental in Aspen and trips to Napa Valley, Broadway and an astronaut space camp at Cape Canaveral, FL.

Tickets are $50 each and include dinner, drinks and snacks during the evening, a gambling stake and the opportunity to bid on items in the silent auction.

  -For more information, tickets, sponsorships or gift donations, contact Tom Brooks at and ask to sign up for Casino emails.

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