Culver City Observer -

Casino Night Is A Huge Success


March 24, 2016

Fred Altieri

Greg Dynabursky calling live auction from the 'Casino' stage

Casino Night 2016 lived up to its billing as Culver City's most fun event of the year.

Hundreds of citizens, parents, faculty, staff and administrators supporting Culver City High athletics enjoyed the annual fundraising affair Las Vegas style at Veterans Memorial Auditorium on Saturday, March 19.

The action was hot as the blackjack tables, roulette wheels, crap tables, slot machines and a coaches' wheel of fortune entertained a lively decked-out crowd as they feasted on delicious food, drinks and desserts while a top DJ had them jamming non-stop to grooving dance music.

The ninth annual event by the Culver City High Booster Club gets better by the year and not surprisingly this year was their most successful. Organized and coordinated by Culver City High alumni Larry and Scott Zeidman, the two brothers and dozens of local volunteers devote many hours and work to provide extra funds for the school's athletic programs.

"I think Casino Night 2016 is going to be the most profitable yet. There was a tremendous amount of donations and great attendance. It's been a banner year," exclaimed Larry Zeidman.

"The proceeds go to the Culver City High clubs and sports. We fill in where the school district does not as far as equipment goes. For instance, we provide poles for the pole vaulters, needs for the aquatic sports, scoring tables for basketball and weight room equipment."

"We raised $40,000 - $45,000 with less than $3,000 to $4,000 in expenses. So it's a very high profit / low cost event. We get as much as we can donated. So it's not one of those charity events where one spends 20 to make 25."

Local businesses were very generous. There was beer donated from the Lagunitas Brewing Company and Golden Road Brewing. Restaurants up and down Culver City and all over the Westside made food donations.

"Red's Flavor Table did an incredible job in their first year for the food service. It was great food... the best ever. We got Dazzling Donuts to serve free gourmet mini donuts. The Culver High Cheer Team provided the incredible desserts served in the silent auction room," said Zeidman.

There was also a live auction for dozens of items. Surprisingly or not so surprisingly the hottest bidding involved the school's graduation night. Zeidman: "The live auction featured a bid for 12 seats up in the scorekeeper's booth at the football stadium for Graduation Night.

"It was the most popular item in the live auction and got the most bids. I did it last year and it was great. It's nice to not have to be at the stadium for graduation on time and to walk up and have the best seats in the house. We provide them with drinks and snacks. And they're treated like kings up there."

The Culver City high-rollers are also lucky enough to be playing their lucky games on actual Vegas gaming tables. Zeidman revealed: "All the gambling tables are real equipment. They are all Las Vegas casino equipment that my company uses for prop rentals now days.

Fred Altieri

Love for the one-armed bandits

"My brother and I are both graduates and we saw there was great need that we could fill. We have a business called the L.A. Slot Machine Company. We're in the export and the prop business but we saw another use for it that we could effectively raise some money for the school.

"So the equipment had its first use in casinos and now its use is in prop rentals for movies and television. The equipment has been featured on everything from the old T.V. show 'Las Vegas' to 'Percy Jackson.' We just did 'Chicago P.D.' And we use it every year for Casino Night. It takes a 53-foot semi to bring it all here.

"We start doing the organizing and prepping at least four months before the event takes place. It takes a lot of work and hours to put it all together so the Booster Club always needs more volunteers and donations. We try to do this with as little cost as possible so 90%+ goes to charity. Yes, Casino Night is the most fun event in Culver City."


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