Casino Night – coming this Saturday, March 21 – will be a chance for the community to double down on the development of great kids while enjoying great food and entertainment, says the president of Des Moines’ primary support for youth recreation services. “Great kids don’t just happen by chance,” said Gene Achziger, president of the Des Moines Legacy Foundation. “They are the result of the opportunities we provide as parents, friends and neighbors.” Those opportunities include financing programs through the Des Moines Parks, Recreation and Senior Services Department to help kids develop socially, athletically and academically. It also includes funding scholarship programs for disadvantaged youth. The 11th annual event kicks off at the Des Moines Field House for the over-21 crowd and in addition to games of chance will include heavy hors-d’oeuvres, beer and wine, and a scrumptious dessert dash. The 7-11 p.m. event will also feature both silent and live auctions, raffles and a prize wheel. Legacy Vice President Yvonne Nutting is heading up planning for the event and the committee has amassed quite an array of prizes and auction items, including a trip to the Great Wolf Lodge, a night at Cedarbrook Lodge, mountain bikes, Seahawks memorabilia, a tailgate party package and much more. Tickets for the event are $50 and besides admission include gambling chips, food and some beverages. High rollers who want to double down on kids can purchase special–recognition ticket packages at $100 each. Both packages are available at the Field House, 1000 South 220th St. or by calling 206-870-6527. A limited number of tickets will also be available at the door. Attendees are asked to wear “casino attire.” “We’ve had a fantastic response from local businesses donating prizes and we are really working hard to make sure everyone comes away with something,” Nutting said. For those who cannot attend, there is a 50/50 raffle for which the winner need not be present to collect. Those tickets are available at the Field House during office hours from now until the event. “We have a lot of people who want to help this great cause for kids, but they just can’t make the event,” Nutting said. “This is a great chance to still help the kids and possibly walk away with half the pot.” Achziger agreed and added: “Not all of life’s lessons are learned in the classroom. Many are learned on the ball fields, basketball courts and activity centers during programs offered by local parks and recreation departments. It takes more than our local school system to nurture our community’s children and develop outstanding citizens of tomorrow.” He was particularly concerned that all of the community’s children have the opportunity to participate in the summer recreation program Camp KHAOS and the Club KHAOS before- and after-school programs. “All too often economic barriers block participation in these non-school programs. At Legacy our goal is to breech those barriers by providing scholarships to assure that all of our children have access to brighter futures,” Achziger said. “And enjoying Casino Night is a great way to help make that happen.”]]>

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