Guests at the Gatsby Casino Night will step back into the roaring ’20s and experience the Jazz Age culture of speakeasies, spicy music and delicious food all while raising money for scholarships for Thomas University students. This year’s event will be held Aug. 16 at the Grady Cultural Center in Cairo.
Just like the larger-than-life party world of Jay Gatsby, TU’s Casino Night will include gaming tables for guests to test their luck and win big in play money, bid real money on top-rate items in the live and silent auctions, along with a delicious buffet and bar. Music will be provided by the TU Jazz Ensemble. Guests are encouraged to put on their feathered boas, pearls, fedoras and pinstripes to dress for the period.
This year marks the third annual Casino Night fundraising event for Thomas University. The 2012 event also featured a Roaring ’20s theme. The 2013 event took guests to the Wild Wild West. Since the first Casino Night held in 2012, $42,552 has been raised and distributed as 10 scholarships to Grady County TU students.
“About 98 percent of TU students receive financial aid, including scholarships,” said Melinda Friddell, Director of the Annual Fund and Special Events. “Last year alone TU students receive financial aid totaling $2.4 million. The Grady County Scholarship plays a critical role in providing accessible funding to local students. Many families struggle to find the financial resources for their sons and daughters to attend college. The Grady County Scholarship provides support to academically qualified local students, delivering much-needed support for local students that may not meet specific criteria for other funding.”
The planning committee for the event includes Melissa Butler, Kevin Cauley, Charles Davis, Shanna Derby, Shelby Gainous, Dot Moses-James, Lequita LeGette, Jeff Lovett, Beth Wight, Randy Wind and Melinda Friddell.
“Of all the things I support, I feel that I get the most from the investments I make in education,” said Lovetta local businessman and committee member. “Having a college degree not only changes a person’s job prospects, but typically means more security, better healthcare and even a more stable family life. Every dollar spent helping a young person earn their degree is an investment in our community and nation. I hope others will join me in supporting Thomas University and the opportunities it provides for the people in Grady County.”
Committee member, TU Trustee and local attorney Kevin Cauley said, “Thomas University is a great resource for our region, including Grady County. We are excited about the opportunity to support Grady’s students through this great effort.”
Proceeds from the Gatsby Casino Night go to the Grady County Scholarship at Thomas University. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Individual tickets are $25 each. For more information or to purchase tickets, call (229) 227-6903 or visit www. thomasu.edu.