Culver City Observer -

Casino Night Benefits Culver Athletics

Annual Event Brings In More Than $40,000


March 12, 2015

Fred Altieri

By Fred Altieri

Sports Reporter

Jackpot! or... What happens in Culver City stays in Culver City.

Forget about the Las Vegas, Reno, Laughlin, State Line and Southern California Indian casinos. Culver City has its own brand of gambling right here in town. It's been happening for the past decade right under our noses with hundreds of good citizens throwing down their hard-earned money to help a great cause.

The CCHS Booster Club presented its eighth annual Culver City High School Casino Night at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium on a balmy Saturday evening, March 7. The 2015 event was billed as "the most fun event in Culver City," according to Booster Club vice-president Larry Zeidman and he was right on the money. The proceeds raised from the yearly event directly benefit the school's athletic department.

Like a magical illusionary act the auditorium stage and floor was transformed into a gambler's paradise accented in Centaur blue décor with hours of cheer and laughter. Adding to the atmosphere was a beautiful showgirl, live deejayed music, a beer and wine bar complimented by tasty buffet and dessert tables.

While the tables were flowing with high-rollers, card sharks and lucky spinners, others were decked out in style hitting the one-armed bandits. Also not missing a trick were the school's security officers who were on hand to offer the authenticity of eagle-eyed casino protection. The only things missing were the Elvis impersonators and a championship prizefight.

Zeidman put the cards on the table: "The event is called CCHS Booster Club Casino Night and is all about raising funds for Culver City High athletics. We generally get between 400 to 600 people in the door. Last year we raised over $46,000 and over $42,000 went directly to the charity. This is my sixth year with the club."

The contributions are essential he continued: "The money pays for buses for the student/athletes to go to the games. We replace equipment for the athletic programs. We've bought workout equipment. It pays for goals for the soccer team and pole vaults for the track and field team. Whatever is needed we try to fund it."

Parents, school staff, teachers and administrators from the athletic programs volunteered, sold tickets and played the roles of blackjack dealers, roulette spinners and dice game boxmen. Not only did many look the part, a few appeared to have an ace up their sleeves that would have made even the most scrutinizing pit bosses envious.

A popular and original adaptation was a big spinning wheel game highlighting faculty members said Zeidman: "We have a Big-Six Wheel-of-Teachers which is probably the only one of its kind in the world. So you can bet on the teachers."

Buying chips was not the only way the patrons contributed. There was a silent auction going on until the evening's end. Hundreds of items were up for bid from dozens of businesses.

Zeidman appreciated the collective effort: "All of the athletic teams gave items for the silent auction and gave out baskets for people to win. Within the community, citizens and local businesses donated items for the silent auction.

"We try to keep the cost percentage of putting on the event to a minimum so we donated all the tables." The table sponsors from the community were: Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Culver City Firefighters Association, Culver City Police Officers Association, Culver City Police Management Association, Poms & Associates Insurance Brokers, Inc., Lions International, Kiwanis International, Waves Hair Salon and Richard S. Hibbs, C.P.A.

Fred Altieri

It's still in the cards for the unfortunate rollers who couldn't attend but may want to help support the high school's athletic programs. They can visit: to contribute.

The club's website welcomes all to help finish this year's business: "A huge thanks goes out to all the attendees, volunteers, coaches and local businesses who supported our gala Casino Night fundraiser. The Club will have a meeting on Monday evening, March 16, in the high school library to stack up all the Casino Night chips. Everyone is welcome to attend."

Zeidman spoke for the CCHS Booster Club: "Everyone had a great time and our fundraising efforts were very successful. We'll have it again next year at this time." So mark your calendars and get ready to sweeten the pot for Culver City High athletics.


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