It was an easy score for fans of the Dallas Stars, as supporters of the hockey team and its nonprofit Dallas Stars Foundation recently gathered to court Lady Luck for the 21st annual casino night fundraiser.
Sponsored by Park Place Dealerships, the glamorous evening — held for the first year atop a rink at Frisco's Comerica Center, the Dallas Stars headquarters —smashed the previous single-night record by raising a whopping $420,000 for charity.
Dallas Stars Foundation president and former goalie Marty Turco welcomed the crowd, which numbered nearly 1,000 people, before introducing the current team and coaches. Fans got to rub elbows with players including John Klingberg, Tyler Seguin, Taylor Fedun, Stephen Johns, Mattias Janmark, Roman Polak, Roope Hintz, and captain Jamie Benn.
Also on hand were Dallas Stars alumni association director of business development and former left winger Brenden Morrow, Dallas Stars broadcaster Daryl "Razor" Reaugh, NHL Hall of Fame goalie Eddie "the Eagle" Belfour, and Dallas Stars in-game host and National Anthem singer Celena Rae.
Larger-than-life Stars mascot Victor E. Green greeted guests as they entered and posed for selfie after selfie.
Of the black-and-green-bedecked fans, one in particular stood out. Carrollton resident and Waffle House server Doris Seabolt, age 87, has been to every casino night for the past 21 years except for one, when an ice storm prevented her from attending. This year she was accompanied by her daughter, Deborah Dunn.
In between sampling a sumptuous buffet from III Forks and sipping Banfi wines and cocktails from Spanish liqueur Licor 43 and Brown Sugar Bourbon, guests threw down the dice and picked up the cards while playing blackjack, roulette, craps, and poker.
Some Stars celebs tried their hand at being (very generous) dealers, while others were content to join the crowd in betting. All chips were transformed into raffle tickets at the end of the night, with a few lucky winners walking away with game suites and other exclusive experiences.
Fans also had the opportunity to bid on a selection of autographed memorabilia, including jerseys and hockey sticks signed by current and retired athletes, as well as unique experiences and gift baskets comprised of players' favorite indulgences.
The Dallas Stars Foundation focuses its efforts on providing support to the children in the community through youth hockey programs, youth engagement, health, and education. More information is available at www.nhl.com/stars/community.