Casino Night 2015 Builds Off of Previous Years

Posted: Monday, October 12th 2015 at 10:38 AM

The 22nd annual Casino Night fundraiser put on by NAU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (SHRM) took place Friday, October 2, 2015 from 7-10 p.m. to help kick off the start of Family Weekend.

Student volunteers from Dr. Gary Vallen’s Casino and Gaming Management course helped with the marketing and promotion plans and then served as dealers, pit bosses, cashiers, and supervisors during the night. The dealers were trained in many of the basic casino games such as Texas Hold ‘Em, Blackjack, Craps, and Roulette, among others.

“It’s a lot of work, but a lot of fun,” Dr. Vallen said, “and a great opportunity to give students real hands-on lab experience.”

Over 100 volunteers contributed their time and talents to help the night run as smoothly as possible. Tatum Reuna, a freshman HRM major, was trained to run the blackjack tables and looked forward to seeing her family and meeting new people throughout the event.

“My grandma, mom, and little brother came to town and will be playing,” she said at the beginning of the night. “It should be fun.”

As the du Bois Ballroom filled with parents, students, and siblings, each station gained a crowd of players and observers. The silent auction table in the center of the room also had a revolving crowd placing bids on various prizes that ranged from tickets for a ski weekend with lodging to Sun Valley, Idaho, to two nights at the Junipine Resort in Sedona and more. 

Out of all the great prizes, Michele Goddard had her eye on tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. She came from California for Family Weekend with her husband to visit their grandson Dallas, an undeclared freshman.

“We came to town Thursday night and will be staying until Sunday, doing every Family Weekend event,” Goddard said. “We just love the school and community here.”

The smiling faces throughout the room were evidence of Casino Night’s success.

“We make notes every year on what went well, what went not-so-well, and it gets better each year,” Dr. Vallen said. “This was our smoothest year ever.”

With ticket prices raised from $20 to $25 and over 825 tickets sold, the event was able to raise a substantial amount that went towards student scholarships and added funds to the evergrowing NAU Foundation endowment for SHRM.

It’s not only a great time for families, but also valuable to the school and students.


Read about previous Casino Nights HERE.



Categories: casino night family weekend fall 2015 2015 dallas goddard michele goddard gary vallen tatum reuna fundraising nau foundation