Friday night at the K-State Alumni Center was a lot like Vegas – except those who went could tell people what they did.
The Boys and Girls Club of Manhattan held its annual Casino Night fundraiser, which served as an anniversary celebration.
Which anniversary was it?
It was the 15th annual Casino Night, and the club has been in Manhattan for 20 years including five years in its current facility.
“It’s kind of unique year for us,” said Junnae Campbell, the club’s executive director.
Campbell said the preliminary numbers show that the club raised $126,866, nearly $8,000 more than last year.
“Obviously, in 15 years we feel like it’s at perfection, but every year we change something to try to make something better,” she said.
In addition to $126,866 raised, the club received $12,015 in “Be Great” pledges to go towards the $30,000 needed for a handicap accessible vehicle.
The club doesn’t have one, and Campbell said it is a need.
“We currently have two youth who are in wheelchairs, and we can’t transport them to activities,” she said. “We have to have their parents take them or they just don’t go.”
Casino Night had something for everyone from the card players and dice rollers to those looking to pick up some things in an auction.
Auction items included gift cards, K-State memorabilia, sports tickets, vacations and even a dog.
Vern and Lane Hendricks made their way through the silent auction table to see what caught their eye.
Vern said he has attended five or six casino nights, and it was heartwarming for him to see people come in support for the Boys and Girls Club.
“They do so many things for the community,” Vern said. “You combine that with fun with friends and neighbors, it makes for a great night.”
The number of friends and neighbors in attendance keeps growing, Campbell said.
This year, 315 people attended – up from 279 in 2013.
Campbell said sponsors who donated money and auction items helped make the event possible.
Those sponsors this year included Cox Communications, Steel and Pipe Supply, CivicPlus and Kite’s Bar and Grill, who donated food.
“We’re just thankful the whole community embraces us when it’s time to do this event every year,” Campbell said.