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Winners Celebrate at Richardson East Rotary Club's Casino Party

A packed house helped Richardson East Rotary Club raised more than $46,000, a record, at its 18th Annual Casino Party.

A crowd of 400 jammed the Richardson Civic Center on Jan. 31 to eat barbecue, “gamble” and make merry to raise money for the club’s multiple charities.

“It is so much fun to see our members pull together, work so hard and make this party happen,” said Per Treven, the chair of the 2014 event. “We are only 40 people, but our event is one of the most anticipated of the year in the community. I think we threw a great party.”

The club’s various charities include college scholarships for Richardson ISD students, the Rotary Dental Clinic, wheelchairs for those who can’t afford them around the world, several local nonprofits and the Rotary International effort to eradicate Polio.

The biggest beneficiaries of the fundraiser are graduating seniors from the Richardson Independent School District, who see the results in the form of college scholarships. Richardson East Rotary also contributes in other ways to RISD schools, plus donates to the YMCA, The Counseling Place and the Network of Community Ministries, among other local and international efforts.

Another major beneficiary is the Rotary Dental Clinic, which opened in 2010 as a joint partnership between the Network of Community Ministries and Richardson’s three Rotary clubs. Richardson East Rotary Club has taken special pride in the clinic because the founders are two members of the club, Doug Crosby and Mark Denny. The two dentists grew up in Richardson and graduated from J.J. Pearce High School.

“Each year has presented something new, but one thing that has always remained the same,” said Casino Party Chairman Wendall Ritz. “When you join us, you will have a great time.”

For the price of the ticket, party goers enjoyed dinner, liquid refreshment for the night, snacks and a “gambling” stake for the Casino games. Local companies underwrite the event with sponsorships. More funds were raised in a silent auction of goods and services donated by members of the community.

In addition to local charities, Richardson East Rotary Club contributes to Rotary International projects. The signature project is PolioPlus, an effort launched in 1985 to rid the world of polio. Since its inception, the crippling disease has been eradicated from all but three countries. Richardson East Rotary also contributes to international clean water projects and the Wheelchair Foundation. Using the partnership between Rotary and the Wheelchair Foundation, the club is responsible for placing more than 1,100 new, sturdy wheelchairs with needy users around the world.

For more information contact Tom Brooks, PR Chairman of the Richardson East Rotary Club. 214-415-2551, or email: tom@tommywrites.com