OEF Gambles on the Future

oef_casino2Monte Carlo is surrounded by France and close to Italy, but Oakland’s version could be found last Saturday night at the end of town on Rt 202. That’s where the Oakland Education Foundation held its Casino Night 2010 with gambling, dinner, drinks and dancing. As one parent announced, “I’m having so much fun I forgot that it’s about raising money for kids.”

oefbBut multi-tasking is the name of the game with today’s fast paced schedules, and providing a fun night out while raising funds for local schools is a winning hand.

The event was held at the old Portabello’s with the downstairs banquet hall filled with gambling tables featuring black jack, roulette, craps, and a variety of poker tables being just some of the options. Guests signed in and gathered chips while previewing the array of gifts available to win…the only money that could be won was in the 50/50 which ended up being $2,500. Winners at the gambling tables cashed in their chips for tickets and prizes were won according to the old ‘Tricky Tray method.

oefcIt was a player friendly environment and the casino hosts were quick to help first timers. Some guests who would not venture to spend real money learning craps or roulette got free lessons while helping a worthy cause.

The event drew hundreds of guests, but the upstairs/downstairs arrangement provided plenty of space for people to mingle. The upstairs bar remained open through the night, and the upstairs banquet hall was set-up for dinner and dancing…and additional prizes that could be won through raffle. Guests enjoyed a large selection of appetizers, entrees, and desserts at the buffet, and many worked off the calories on the dance floor afterwards.

oefaAt a time when a lot of people are hurting, the event’s success was doubly important. Oakland’s school district was one of the hardest hit by state aid cuts, so people giving what they can at this time was deeply appreciated by the OEF board. The funds raised at this year’s Casino Night 2010 are being earmarked for the Valley Middle School’s science lab which is great disrepair.

To learn more about the OEF please visit The OEF Website….enjoy the photos and video of the event below.