What if you could enjoy Vegas-style casino games without having to leave Genesee County, for only a small fraction of the cost, without risking any money, and all for a great cause?
Friends and relatives of the Reis family, who lost their lives in a tragic fire at their home in Byron in 2008, invite you to "Reis Family Memorial Casino Night" on Saturday, Nov. 9.
The event will be held at Polish Falcons, at 123 Swan St. in Batavia. Doors open at 6 p.m., and the casino will be open from 7 until 9:30 p.m. Drinks and hors d'oevres will be included.
Games such as blackjack, craps, and Texas hold 'em will be played. If you don't know how to play, the dealers will teach you.
Players will be "cashing in" for Chinese auction tickets instead of money. The Chinese auction will take place at the end of the night and include baskets donated mostly by local restaurants -- although there are some surprises as well, such as a flight for two around Letchworth State Park.
"That's one of our high-roller gifts," event organizer Brendan Lougheed said. "We're hoping for others as well."
Lougheed said there are about 60 tickets left. People can buy them at the door, but are encouraged to pre-order.
Tickets are $65 each. While this seems like a lot, Lougheed puts the cost in perspective.
"You can learn and play new games that would cost a lot more at a casino," he said. "You get to enjoy all you would enjoy in Vegas for less money and without having to worry about losing your money."
Proceeds will be used to fund the scholarship created by the Reis kids' grandparents in honor of the family. It is awarded each year to multiple Byron-Bergen High School students who plan on attending two- or four-year colleges, are involved in the community, and are in need of financial assistance.
Unfortunately, the funds for the scholarship have diminished. That's where "Reis Family Memorial Casino Night" comes in.
Lougheed was a classmate of Emily Reis, one of the children. Through her and her younger brother, he became close with the family.
"They were wonderful people all around," he said. "They worked very hard (since they were raised by a single mother). And their grandparents are the sweetest people in the world."
To pre-order tickets or request more information, contact Lougheed at 721-8955 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Brendan Lougheed.