Guild hosts first annual casino night fundraiser

A gamble for a good cause.

The Guild for Exceptional Children (GEC) held its first annual Casino Night fundraiser at Gargiulo’s Restaurant, 2911 West 15th St., on Fri., Jan. 25, giving close to 200 attendees the chance to mingle, give to a good cause, participate in a gift raffle, and enjoy the excitement of casino games using play chips.

Director of Development for GEC Caroline Mansuetto called the night — a first for the organization — a big success.

“We were very happy that over 190 people attended; great expectations were fulfilled and everyone had a lot of fun,” she said. “It was a very good night.”

Interim Executive Director of GEC Joe Riley stressed the importance of such events.

“The Guild has been serving people with developmental disabilities and special needs for 60 years and even though we are funded by the government, the funding that they provide is really not enough to support the service and quality that we provide so we rely on the kindness of community and people who support us to make that difference,” he said. “The people have been very good to the Guild and very good in supporting those events, and we are grateful to the community for doing that.”

In addition, noted Mansuetto, “Events give us the opportunity to really reach out to our friends in the community, to make new friends and of course welcome back our dedicated supporters. It’s just a nice evening that we all share and enjoy. Of course, the money raised from this event is earmarked for GEC’s building fund.”

Those who attended had a blast. “There were all different types of games and they were all for play chips, not actual money,” Mansuetto explained. “It was really very entertaining.”

The top five game winners took home Amex gifts cards, with the first place prize worth $1,500.

Because the first time around was so popular, GEC plans to make it an annual event.

“We had just great feedback as people were leaving for the evening,” Mansuetto said. “They all commented that they had a great time so that gives us the thumbs up for continuing this event next year.”

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