With (fake) money in hand, more than 400 of Dallas' young movers and shakers arrived at The Hall on Dragon for Dallas CASA's hottest fundraiser: CASAblanca.
They were there to try their luck at blackjack, roulette, poker, and craps, putting those chips — and their donations — toward the very real cause of helping to recruit, train, and supervise community volunteers that serve as advocates for children.
Chairs Bela Cooley, Elise Nichols, and Megan Sterquell welcomed the black-tie crowd, who was ready to party in style at the hot-ticket casino event.
After posing for pics at the photo booth and in front of the step-and-repeat, guests could either get down to betting business or bust a move on the dance floor, with The Special Edition Band providing a high-energy soundtrack all night long.
In between shouts of "Red!" and "Blackjack!," attendees enjoyed passed appetizers and a well-stocked open bar. Chefs served up fresh fried rice in traditional Chinese take-out containers, before ending the evening with take-home fried chicken biscuits.
All those hard-won chips translated into raffle tickets for prizes such as a staycation, fitness classes, and top-of-the-line headphones.
Spotted giving each game their all were Dallas CASA board members Bob Schleckser, Beth Cholerton, Janice Davis, Cynthia Pladziewicz, and Linda Swartz, as well as Dallas CASA Young Professional board members Kenneth Wherry, Jonathan Bassham, David Dancer, Brooke Donelson, Reasha Hedke, Kyle Laney, Elena Littleton, Dave McAdams, Lauren Quam, Kayli Ray, Ben Riemer, Molly Vaughan, and Ashley Waychoff.
CASAblanca began as a way to raise awareness among young Dallas citizens of the critical role an advocate can play in the life of a child living in foster care. Dallas CASA Young Professionals is an outreach, volunteer, and fundraising arm for Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates). The group is open to anyone ages 21 to 40 who wants to make a difference in the lives of abused children.