Craps will be just one of the games available during Casino Night Saturday at the National Guard Armory. Also included will be blackjack, Let-It-Ride poker, three-card poker and a Roulette table. For story in the Leader and Times, click here.
By ELLY GRIMM
• Leader & Times
For those looking to have a lot of fun and help a good cause at the same time, look no further than Saturday night.
The Liberal AirFair Committee will be hosting a Casino Night fundraiser beginning with a silent auction from 6 to 7 p.m. and the casino games going from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday at the National Guard Armory in Liberal.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun – you could win some fabulous prizes and you can bid on something in the silent auction you might get a good deal on. And it’s all for a really good cause,” Jennifer Lyddon, one of the coordinators for the Liberal AirFair, said. “We had more than 10,000 people at last year’s AirFair and not one of them had to pay to come in the door so we’re trying to raise money to keep it free again.”
With the required $40 donation at the door, participants will get a player’s card worth $3,000 in chips and will play on that. Some of the casino games will include Blackjack and Let-It-Ride poker, three-card poker, two Craps tables and a Roulette table. The more chips a person wins, the more chances they have to win a prize. Participants must also be 21 or older to enter the casino.
There are also several major prizes given away throughout the night, including an Xbox One, a K-State traveling bar, a wine package, Kate Spade and Michael Kors purses, and a Seiko watch donated by Staats Jewelers The grand prize is a trip to Laughlin, Nev., which includes airfare plus three nights at the Harrah’s Casino donated by Billy’s BBQ and Carol Lee Burrows. There will also be an all-you-can-eat taco bar for $10.
This will be the second year for the committee to have a Casino Night and the inspiration for the theme came when the committee wanted to change it up a little.
“Before, when we did fundraisers, we had done Texas Hold ‘Em tournaments and so we just wanted to kind of do something different. I was kind of surfing the Internet one day looking for ideas and I ran across this one and thought it might be something different and fun,” Lyddon said.
Another difference between this year’s event and last year is last year there were volunteer dealers, which prevented some from playing. For this year, the committee hired a different company to run the casino and there will also be professional dealers there as well as slot attendants and a pit boss.
The importance of the fundraiser for the bi-annual AirFair cannot be understated, added Lyddon.
“For one thing it gets the AirFair out there and keeps it in the back of people’s mind we’re having another one in 2016. So they’re thinking about it and remembering they had a great time last year so they’ll have to go again,” she said. “It’s been a big deal for us to keep it free because at past AirFairs people had to pay $10 to $20 to get in for adults and children and I think keeping it free is a good thing for the community. It also brings a lot of people from out of town and that’s good for the community and the businesses in the community.”
Lyddon added participants do not necessarily have to participate in the actual casino games – they can come to the silent auction and purchase raffle tickets even if they are not participating. There will also be a 50/50 drawing along with other mini-games going on between games and lots of other activities for people to do if they do not want to participate in the casino.
Tickets for Saturday night can be purchased beforehand at Lyddon Aero Center and some will be sold at the door that night as well. Lyddon also added her own expectations for how Saturday night will go.
“We’re hoping it does really well. Hopefully for those not traveling out of town or people who have family coming here will hopefully tell them about the AirFair and tell them what a good cause it is and then come out and have some fun,” she said. “People say there’s not a lot to do in Liberal and this will be something for people to do Saturday night and something fun.”