It was a good night for United Way

This year the Ides of March bode well for a major local charity.

On March 15, NVU-Johnson campus held their annual Casino Night in the Stearns Dining Hall. This year’s theme was revealed earlier in the semester to be “A Royal Affair.” This theme rang true as most of the guests donned crowns, tiaras and top hats with their formal attire.

Due to Vermont’s anti-gambling laws, all of the games were played with fake currency and tokens. For the price of one admission ticket, guests were provided with food, drinks, a single specialty beverage, 600 faux dollars for games, and entrance to a VIP room for those 21 years of age. Tickets were $10 for community members and $7 for NVU students.

The Johnson tradition of Casino Night has raised money for charity for over 42 years. The event was run by the Student Government Association. This year, Casino Night raised $1269 in total between tickets and alcohol sales.

One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the evening will be donated to the United Way of Lamoille County, which will use these proceeds to help the families of Lamoille Valley gain financial stability, healthcare, and education.

The SGA-run event was aided with the support of Good Guys Gambling Group, a business whose mission statement is, “…to make the gambling industry a little kinder and do some good along the way.”
While running the world’s first charity-casino, Good Guys also works to encourage safe gambling. One of the ways they do this is by providing casino games to high-profile events or start-up casinos. As they lend this equipment, they also teach many of the games to new players, and donate at least 50 percent of their proceeds to charity.

Some of the games available for play included Black Jack, Poker, Craps, Roulette, Money Wheel, and more. Many of the dealers were NVU students, faculty and staff. As players exchanged cash for tokens, Good Guys played music from their disc jockey setup.

Along with the game tables, the gambling group also brought a photo booth. The booth was available the entire night for attendees to use at their leisure.

Props were provided and all pictures were taken free of charge. The night ended with a raffle, towards which guests could use their winnings.

SGA President Jessica Malskis said she was more than pleased with the night’s success. “It’s just great that we get to have so much fun raising money for other people,” she said.