Hundreds of people indulged their vices at Trinity Junior High School on Saturday (Feb. 11) without the need to go to confession because it was for a benevolent and charitable cause.
Casino Royale, the main fundraiser for the Catholic junior high, benefits the school by providing funds for the Trinity trust and scholarships. More than $50,000 was raised this year, significantly more than the $44,000 from last year said event chairman Becky Ahlert. Tickets were $75 each or $1,000 for a corporate table.
Each ticket came with $10,000 worth of casino chips good for table games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, craps and chuck-a-luck. Additional chips were available for those not fortunate enough to win.
The table games closed after about two hours, and lucky players exchanged chips for raffle tickets at a rate of $10,000 per ticket. Partygoers selected from five boxes, each representing a small item, to drop their tickets in for a chance to win.
The silent auction featured about 170 items, also significantly more than last year's 125. Auctioneer Ted Dunn worked the crowd with persistence and humor to get top dollar for the eight items up for bid.
Live auction items including a custom-prepared dinner from Movie Lounge, a limousine ride to Tulsa for a day of shopping at Utica Square, a guided trout fishing trip for two, a $2,000 gift certificate to Vein Clinics of Arkansas, .44 caliber and 9mm pistols, a table for eight at Christ the King School's Endless Summer party and a kitchen or bathroom remodel fetched a grand total of $8,250.
Additional money-raising activities included a “50/50” card drawing where playing cards were torn in half and halves were sold at $10 each. When the deck was sold, a half card was drawn and the winner with the matching half took home $260.
Two full-year tuitions to Trinity, valued at about $6,000 each, were drawn at 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. from raffle tickets sold for $20 each or six for $100. A cigar bar catered to smokers who enjoyed good conversation and smokes from a heated tent outside the gymnasium.
Food and drink were aplenty from the buffet table and open bars. A buffet was prepared entirely by former Trinity parents Virginia Ricketts and Charlotte Caddell and several volunteers. Fare ranged from tail-on shrimp to sushi to pork loin and much more.
The band Boom! Kinetic took the stage shortly after 9:30 p.m. and played until midnight.