The cards were shuffled, chips in place, tables full and slot machines rolling for gamblers aiming to win big.
About 400 people came to Ohio State’s Residence Hall Advisory Council’s third annual Casino Night Saturday, in the Archie Griffin Ballroom located on the second floor of the Ohio Union.
RHAC started Casino Night as a way to give back to students and a locally based charity, said James DeGraw, programming director for RHAC and Casino Night coordinator.
Students, staff and administration were encouraged to attend.
In order to buy casino chips, RHAC asked a donation of one household or hygiene item to benefit the foundation. Those who donated 10 or more started with extra chips.
At the end of the night, RHAC raffled off prizes including a Vizio 26-inch LCD hi-definition television, a Kindle DX Wireless and an Apple iPad.
“I had my one pity ticket because I ran out of chips,” said Rebecca Pytlik, a second-year in aeronautical engineering. “I even had zero chips and got a Blu-ray player.”
Everyone received at least one ticket for attending but additional tickets were given for every $1,000 of chips turned in, Pytlik said.
Catering 1870 of the Ohio Union and Team DJ entertainment, who ran the card tables, helped staff the event, DeGraw said.
RHAC is a student organization designed to promote the on-campus experience.
“RHAC puts on programming that supports the residence hall learning experience,” said Curtis Dugar, assistant director of residence life and RHAC adviser. “(Casino night is) one of our hallmark events; we put in a lot of money, effort and time for another successful night.”
DeGraw said RHAC spent almost $25,000 on casino night.
“RHAC is partially sponsored through the student activity fee. Also, we are in charge of all of the linens programs and on-campus marketing,” DeGraw said. “So most of our funds come from any linens you buy or care packages your parents send you.”
This is the first time RHAC has benefited LifeCare Alliance, DeGraw said.
“LifeCare is a locally based non-profit organization that benefits various charities and other outreach programs,” DeGraw said. “We value what they do for the Columbus community and wanted to benefit them by having everyone donate hygiene items.”
LifeCare Alliance aims to benefit and provide services like meals-on-wheels, visiting nurses and wellness centers to assist the elderly or chronically ill throughout Franklin and Madison counties, according to LifeCareAlliance.org.
Representatives from LifeCare Alliance did not immediately respond for comment.
For students like Donald Seedes, a second-year in finance, Casino Night was well worth his money and donation.
“I think it’s a good time and a good cause, so why not give the money,” Seedes said. “If they do it again I’ll definitely comeback.”