WQS Casino Night Raises Funds for charity: water

This past Saturday, Lower Right of Paresky Commons transformed into a glamorous casino, complete with poker dealers, colorful poker chips, refreshing mocktails and auction prizes, hosted by West Quad South (WQS) Cluster.

Dressed in sleek semi-formal attire, students lined up in the lobby of Paresky to purchase poker chips for $10. Students wishing to spectate could do so for $5. All ticket proceeds and money raised from the auction went to support “charity: water,” a non-profit organization that brings clean, safe drinking water to people in developing countries. The charity was chosen through a voting process done by the members of the WQS cluster council.

Seho Young ’15, Noah Hornik ’15, Josh Henderson ’15 and David Shin ’14 accompanied the night of blackjack and poker games with live music. The dealers were parents that had been trained to become one-time poker dealers by Patrick Farrell, Chair and Instructor in Math and Casino Night chaperone, and Doug Kuhlmann, Instructor in Math, said Farrell.

Using the chips they won, students could bid for numerous prizes donated by faculty members and downtown vendors. Popular prizes included a sit-down dinner for four with Head of School John Palfrey and a pecan pie and zucchini bread from Becky Sykes, Associate Head of School.

“I felt like I was in a real casino. The boys had their hair gelled back, and the girls had their heels on. Even though they ran out of poker chips [and] I couldn’t play, I had a great time in the fun and unusual atmosphere,” said Soubie Im ’15.

“This event was a huge success! I think we underestimated how many people would show up; the line was out the door,” wrote Angela Batuure ’13 in an e-mail to The Phillipian. “We haven’t finished calculating how much money we made, but in cash alone we made almost five times more money for charity than we made last year.”

Batuure attributed a large part of Casino Night’s success to the efforts of the WQS Cluster Council members, the support of students’ parents and the help of Patrick Naughter ’13, who made a promotional video for the event.

“I couldn’t be happier of how things turned out. I also think that [donating the proceeds to] charity is extremely relevant because a lot of Americans take for granted the accessibility of clean water, and by working with the charity, we hoped to help raise awareness,” wrote Batuure.