Last Friday, over 200 people tested their luck at the Family Shelter of Southern Oklahoma’s sixth annual Casino Night Fundraiser. Many went home with prizes, but the Family Shelter itself was the biggest winner of the night.
According to Director Kathy Manning the fundraiser not only surpassed its goal, it hit a new record.
“Last year we brought in $45,000, and this year our goal was $50,000,” Manning said. “We ended up bringing in $53,755, so we’re incredibly proud of that.”
Manning attributed part of this success to the many sponsors who helped make the evening possible.
“The sponsors this year were amazing. We saw a huge increase in sponsorships, and some were even reaching out to us to become a sponsor. That typically never happens. We were all totally amazed and so grateful,” Manning said.
She said the guests of the event also helped make the evening special.
“We can really feel the support of the community,” Manning said. “They know that domestic violence and sexual assault is a major issue and they came out to show their support.”
Manning said the shelter will use the money raised during the event in a variety of ways. It will help cover operations, advocacy programs, food and transportation for families, and whatever else their clients may need.
“Every person we help has different needs. Most of the time they arrive with nothing, so we help them get clothes” Manning said. “There are times when they come in with no birth certificate or driver’s license, so we help them get those important documents.”
She added they help every client as many times as they need it.
“We help them gain everything once, then we help them gain everything back again. We don’t just say, ‘I’m sorry, you’ve already been helped so we can’t help you.’ We continuously offer our support,” Manning said.
She said Casino Night will return in 2020.
“This was our sixth year, and it just keeps getting bigger and better. When you get this kind of positive feedback, you want it to continue,” Manning said. “I’m really looking forward to next year’s (event) because of the great response.”