Casino Night raises funds for programs

Men and women sipped bottomless margaritas as they played craps, black jack and roulette Saturday at the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge’s Second Annual Casino Night, held in the main room at the Chevy Chase Drive facility.

Although Community Center board members and City Council members have voiced the need to earmark money for a new roof, and possibly a redesign of the center, money raised at the casino event will go toward expanding programs offered at the center, according to Community Center Executive Director Megan Nordvedt.

Nordvedt said the funds might be used to tear down a wall between two smaller rooms to create one larger classroom at the center. Nordvedt also voiced the possibility of replacing linoleum tiling with wood flooring in rooms used for dance classes.

“We get to decide what programming we offer at the center, how we can meet the needs of the community. The Community Center offers affordable, recreational programming for people of all ages, for young children, teens, adults and seniors,” Nordvedt said.

The Community Center in many ways fills the role of a parks and recreation department for the city, offering T-Ball, art classes, dance lessons, summer camp programs and other social activities.

“We strive to keep programs affordable and high value, and our ceramics department is widely respected county-wide,” said Tom Reynolds, Community Center board secretary.

Greg Huston, whose 6-year-old child attends the center’s summer day-camp program, said the facility is sometimes taken for granted by the public. Huston, a lifelong La Cañadan, said, “We could do more [to support the Center]. It’s appreciated by some but also unappreciated by some.”

Casino players paid $50 to buy into games and had the option to buy artful margarita glasses for $20, which came with unlimited margaritas. Beer, wine, water and a freshly grilled taco dinner provided by Los Gringos Locos were included with the $50 buy-in.

For every $100 a player won at the tables, they would receive a raffle ticket. They could choose to enter different raffles for prizes like gift certificates to Dish and Sakura restaurants, Firestone tires, gasoline gift certificates, Galaxy Soccer box seats and other items.

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