By RONDA GREGORY
News & Journal Staff Writer
Some neon-lights and whirling Roulette-table excitement is set to start at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 24 in Bridgeport at 1000 S. Maplewood Drive. Emeritus at Maplewood, a senior citizen living community and part of the Brookdale Company, is hosting its 11th annual “Las Vegas Night” – its 7th to benefit Health Access, Inc.
For just $25 a person, guests will dine on a gourmet buffet, get $20,000 in play gaming money, two free drinks and enjoy some musical entertainment, said Health Access Executive Director Jim Harris, who will act as host for the evening.
Elite Casino Events of Weirton is supplying the gaming tables, including Black Jack, Poker, Craps and Roulette, where guests can win more play money “just for the fun of it,” he explained. “Guests will be playing games just like they would in Vegas.”
As for the musical entertainment, Harris said the Robert C. Byrd High School Show Choir will perform a perfect set for the glitzy theme. “They’ve done a huge Las Vegas-style show and will perform part of that,” he added.
There will also be a silent auction featuring quality items donated or sponsored by local area businesses or individuals.
Hannah Gallo, Emeritus at Maplewood resident program manager, said, in addition to providing the venue, they are involved in planning the event and provide the decorations and food. She said the activities will be experienced amid a Vegas-themed decor of red and black with fresh flower flourishes.
“We want it to be high-end classic Vegas,” she remarked.
Guests will have a fine-dining experience of prime rib, crab legs and a pasta station with several selections of sauces – from basic red to wine and butter.
Residents at the senior community also attend and are a big part of the night’s community atmosphere. “They love getting dressed up and mingling,” Gallo stated.
Harris reports that last year around 175 people attended and that they hope to see even more come out this year for a wonderful night out. “It’s our largest fundraiser of the year; we’re hoping for a big turnout,” Harris said.
It is also Emeritus at Maplewood’s signature event, so their staff and residents are very involved and supportive, Harris explained. “They’re inviting us into their home; what a wonderful privilege. We really appreciate what they do for us.”
Gallo agreed that it’s a win-win experience for all involved. “It’s been a good partnership, one we want to see continue. They [Health Access] do good work,” she continued.
Gallo said the event is a great way to have a fun night out while supporting such a valuable organization as Health Access.
Health Access, a United Way Agency, is a nonprofit organization that serves uninsured or underinsured residents of Harrison and Doddridge counties by providing them access to primary care, prescription medications and hospital services at no cost.
“We encourage people to come out and have a good time, enjoy some great food and the festive atmosphere and help raise money for a really good cause,” Gallo said.
BB&T is the title sponsor for the event, with Fire & Safety Investigation Consulting Services, Clarksburg Blue-Print, VFW Post 573 Men’s Auxiliary, and Dan Thompson Wrecker Service as partial sponsors.
For tickets, call Health Access at (304) 622-2708 or Emeritus at Maplewood at (304) 848-0204. Or visit either facility in person.