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Monday, April 20, 2009

Do Only Bad Parents Take Children to Casino Night?

I volunteer for a local hospital and rotate leading an evening support group for new moms with the emphasis on breastfeeding support. I participated in the group when Andrew was a baby and started as a facilitator after we graduated. The nursing college for this particular hospital was hosting "Casino Night" to benefit the local Autism Society. I found out that it was an alcohol-free, kid friendly (and kid invited) event. We are getting so much good information from this chapter and we thought it would be a fun way to give back to them.

We had a pasta dinner with salad, rolls and cookies. It was an all you could eat dinner---I knew they said food was included, but I told the kids it might just be hot dogs. Wow!! They had pasta with meat, marinara, alfredo or beer cheese sauce. It was really yummy!

Our admission included dinner, a small amount of funny money to get us going, and a kids playroom chaperoned by the Campus Crusade for Christ group. Andrew learned to play Texas Hold 'Em over spring break and headed straight for that table. Sean supervised him for a while to make sure he wasn't going to bother the other people. The other guys started calling him the "King of Clubs".

Whenever he'd get low on monopoly money, he'd scoot to the bingo room until he won a bingo ($15 monopoly money) and head back to the poker. Wouldn't you know that kid got a bingo EVERY TIME he sat down to play?!?! Sometimes it would take 2-3 rounds, but he would always bingo.

Rebekah & Nathan had a blast in the kids room. Rebekah adopted a balloon as her very own and had to bring it home at the end of the night. Eventually, the room monitor let them start playing on the Smart Board. Kids, fake markers and coloring--what a winning combo!

Nathan had fun with the guitar (like that's a surprise). Then he'd stand on the hopscotch rings and jump and play. Very talented young man!

At the very end of the night, Sean used a "Little Lady Luck" on the roulette wheel. Rebekah just couldn't understand why she wasn't supposed to move the chips from place to place. Looks like a board game to her....
We planned to leave the event a little early since it ran until 9pm and we'd be home past bedtime. The best laid plans get blown out of the water! The kids were being so good and they all wanted to buy raffle tickets with the monopoly money earned. We stayed for the final raffle items---rats, didn't win any. However, we reminded the kids we didn't go to win things, we went to support a great cause, have fun and do something different. They all agreed it was a fun night. It appears to have been a successful fundraiser.
We decided that we spend a lot of time emphasizing not gambling to our kids and to let them have fun in an non-money, controlled atmosphere was worth it. We tried to emphasize that it's a fundraiser for charity. However, when we decided to stay to the end, we did mention that only "bad parents" let their kids stay up past bedtime night.

1 comment:

Brenda Sherman said...

Sounds like a great night and cause. Next year, let me know I would love to participate with our kids.

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