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Sunday, May 1, 2016

'Casino Chips for scholarships' paid off better than in 2013

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jason E. Silvers/Tribune photo Attendees play blackjack during Friday evening's Scholarship Auction and Casino Night on the Fort Scott Community College campus.
The annual Fort Scott Community College Scholarship Auction and Casino Night last week brought in about $17,000 for the FSCC Endowment Association and college scholarships.

The "Casino Chips for Scholarships" Endowment Auction, which took place Friday night in the Danny and Willa Ellis Family Fine Arts Center on the FSCC campus, grossed about $23,000 and netted about $17,000, after all expenses such as costs of food and rental of gaming equipment were figured in, organizers said.

Proceeds from the event, including money made from casino games, food, live and silent auctions and entrance fees, benefit student scholarships. About 150 people attended the event.

"The total amount that will go to scholarships is $17,000," FSCC Director of Development Bailey Lyons, the organizer for the event, said. "We netted $7,000 more than last year."

Last year's event netted between $12,000 and $12,500 that went toward student scholarships.

Lyons said this year's live auction brought in about $13,000 while the silent auction raked in about $2,000. Organizers received about $2,900 in cash donations.

"This was my first one (working) at FSCC and being in charge of," Lyons said. "I was really pleased with the event. A lot of hard work goes into it by the committee and all the coaches and employees of the college. We had a ton of donations from area businesses and individuals. The night wouldn't have been possible without that. And I was pleased with the increase over last year. Hopefully, we can continue to grow it."

Attendees were able to eat, drink and bid on several donated items that were part of live and silent auctions that evening. Attendees could also make donations if they chose and take part in a variety of casino games such as blackjack, roulette, poker, and the slot machines.

Items up for bid in the auctions were donated by local individuals and businesses. Auction items ranged from $50 gift certificates to a 2007 Mini Cooper valued at $13,925 provided by Shepherd Team Auto Plaza.

The casino was staffed by FSCC football coaches throughout the evening. Other assistance for the event was provided by members of the FSCC women's basketball team and FSCC softball coaches, Lyons said.

The event took place for only the second straight year at the fine arts center. Previous scholarship auctions took place at the Liberty Theatre in downtown Fort Scott. The event has followed a casino-style theme the last few years.

Organizers moved the event last year to take advantage of the layout and space available at the fine arts center.

"We're lucky it's (fine arts center) a part of our campus," Lyons said. "It was a great opportunity to showcase the venue; it works perfectly for the event."

Attendees who played casino games paid $10 to receive a certain amount of play money they could use in the casino. When chips were cashed in at the end of the night, instead of receiving money back, players' chip totals were tabulated and door prizes were awarded to the top three chip earners.

Prizes included a tablet and grocery gift cards, Lyons said.

Lyons said the event also included a special appearance from Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Famer Walter White, who attended to present and explain a VIP Chiefs package that was available during the live auction.

"I appreciate everyone who attended and donated time and items and spent their money for a worthwhile cause," she said.

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