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Wildcats gamble for a cause

10-4 Casino Night (Gabe Cerritos)
Students play blackjack at Homecoming Casino Night on Oct. 4. (Gabe Cerritos / The Signpost)

Philanthropy was the goal of the Vegas-themed party in the Shepherd Union Ballroom for Casino Night on Oct. 4.

Over 150 Weber State University students and community members gathered to play casino games and donate to Weber Cares, WSU’s charity food pantry for students in need.

Casino Night attendees paid an entrance fee of either $1 or a can of food. All proceeds were donated to the campus charity.

“I like how this is for a good cause. You don’t pay to get in — you give to get in,” said Kendra Gilmore, a graduate student of WSU’s Masters of Science in Athletic Training program.

Marc DeYoung, vice president of clubs and organizations, organized the event with the intent to help others while ensuring attendees had a good time.

“The main reason we brought back Casino Night was because I felt like this was something to give more students an opportunity to become involved,” DeYoung said.

The event was previously sponsored by campus sororities in the past. While many clubs were represented at the celebration, the homecoming event returned under the auspices of WSUSA.

Susie Savage, WSU senior, appreciated how students could mingle and play games while helping support a local charity.

“I like how this is not just about having fun. We’re also contributing,” Savage said. “This is a fun event turned into a charitable activity.”

DeYoung said one of the reasons he chose to give proceeds to Weber Cares was because of the simplicity. “Canned foods and college students is a successful fundraiser,” DeYoung said.

Not only that, but the charity is aimed at helping fellow Wildcats, according to DeYoung. “It directly benefits students — more students than you might think.”

Psi Phi Psi, a campus fraternity that emphasizes philanthropy, donated over 200 cans of food for the event. Paul Reoyo, WSU junior and member of Psi Phi Psi, helped contribute to the fraternity’s caseloads.

10-5 Casino Canned Foods (Emily Crooks).jpg
Emma Clark, Coordinator of Student Programs, and Tara Peris, Director Student Involvement and Leadership, organize canned foods donated to Weber Cares. (Emily Crooks / The Signpost)

“Our fraternity is all about giving back to the community,” said Reoyo. “Hopefully with all the people in attendance tonight, we were able to help a lot of people.”

Jose Perez, a WSU senior who attended the event, said the philanthropy party was an effective fusion.

“I feel like after being here at Weber for five years, I figured it was time that I start getting involved,” said Perez. “I think it’s always a good idea to be a part of the community, even if it’s a super small part.”

Paula Guerra, WSU sophomore and volunteer at Weber Cares, said the donations were very helpful.

The donations for Weber Cares pantry has been very low lately, but the casino night donations doubled the amount of food available to students, according to Guerra.

“We are very appreciative,” said Guerra. “There are a lot of students that go to school here that are in need, and it’s awesome that people at the event donated to our cause.”

Guerra said Weber Cares hopes to work with WSUSA again in the future.

“This event was all about students serving other students, and that fits perfectly with WSUSA’s goal to help students have a good time and enjoy their college experience,” DeYoung said.

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