If you’re looking to kick up your heels a little next weekend, you might just be able to have a high time in the old town of Gonzales—and all the while helping to benefit the six schools located in Gonzales County.
The second annual Casino Night Fundraiser sponsored by the Gonzales ISD Education Foundation is going to swing into high gear at the JB Wells Expo Center—with a night of fellowship, fun gaming and conviviality the order of the day.
“This is our second annual event,” Foundation President Amber Withers said. “We do it for fun, but it’s really to raise money for grants to give out to our local teachers at one of the six Gonzales County schools to help buy necessary supplies, books, trips—whatever we can do to help our educators help our local students.
“We our hoping to give away over $30,000 in grants this year, and we do a lot of it by raising money at the Casino Night Fundraiser.”
According to Withers, anyone who buys a ticket will get a steak dinner and $1,000 in chips to play whatever game they fancy — whether it be poker, blackjack, roulette or craps. As the night goes on, revelers can buy back more “chips” throughout the evening to increase their chances at winning tickets that could win them wonderful prizes. However, all tickets for the fundraiser must be purchased in advance, and none will be sold at the door.
“We have to give the people cooking and supplying the food an accurate idea of attendance, so we can’t sell tickets at the door because it would be too late,” Withers said. “Cash, credit cards and checks are all good.”
And while playing at a casino night fundraiser is a rollicking good time, it’s all about raising money for the teachers and the students in the Gonzales Country schools.
“The grants we award to the six local schools consist of money outside the normal tax-and-budget system set by the school board,” she explained. “We raise the money, and then we ask the teachers to write a grant application for a project they are working on or for something they need for their students. Then we take a look at the requests and make our awards.”
But in the spirit of having fun and truly making a big deal out of the grant award, the ISD Foundation has adopted a unique way to celebrate the presentation.
“We kind of treat it like a Publisher’s Clearing House announcement,” Withers said. “We bring in members of the Drum Line and make a lot of noise with spirit songs so that we get everyone’s attention. The band members march down the hallways, people come out to see what all the commotion is about, and then we march into the class room to make the announcement and presentation.
“That’s the part I like best too—you get to see the reaction on the faces of the teachers and the kids all get excited. That’s where you get to see that all the work we did to raise the money makes it worthwhile for the teachers and the students. And every penny raised stays right here in Gonzales.”
Withers encourages everyone in the public to come out to the Casino Night Fundraiser—not only to have fun but to see what the foundation is up to and to take part in education here in Gonzales County.
“Not only can they win trips, spa treatments, gift cards, jewelry, tickets to SeaWorld,” but they can interact with their neighbors and have a blast raising money for our kids and teachers.
“And the grants go for a good cause—from buying iPads, helping to fund field trips, buying books and calculators—it’s all for the benefit our kids and educators,” Withers said. “That’s so important to the quality of life we all enjoy here in Gonzales.”
The doors for the Casino Night Fundraiser open at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Casino tables open at 7:15 p.m. and play lasts for three hours. Chip redemption for raffle tickets immediately follows so attendees can put their name in for the nice prizes.