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Mardi Gras Casino returns to Pagosa

All of the planning and arrangements for Rotary’s Mardi Gras Casino are coming together.

This is an evening of gaming, tasty hors d’oeuvres, decadent desserts and beverages of sundry varieties from a cash bar.

Croupiers are being trained and primed, and the gaming tables and wheels have been dusted off. Gaming will include blackjack, poker, Texas Hold’em, craps and more.

A grand door prize, prizes and auction items galore have been generously donated by local businesses. And as you read this, more donations are being added.

The variety of what you can bid on is huge: dining, luxurious pampering, getaway lodging opportunities, jewelry, services and a whole slew of other items too numerous to enumerate.

This annual charity event, one of Pagosa Springs Rotary Club’s finest, incorporates all the components of a truly gala evening. Pull a group of your friends together to play, eat, drink, dance, make merry and take home some great auction items.

And all these sybaritic indulgences will actually help the Rotary Club continue its annual commitment to and support local programs — to name just a few: Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics, Pagosa Outreach Connection, 9 Health Fair, teacher mini-grants, dictionaries for third graders … the list goes on.

The major beneficiary from this fund-raiser every year is the Rotary Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to college-bound Pagosa Springs High School graduates. To date, over $283,000 has been awarded to 121 scholarship recipients.

Who are some of the recent scholarship recipients? Allison Laverty is majoring in nursing/midwifery at Shasta College in California. Emmi Greer is at Chapman University, California, majoring in creative producing, with a minor in public relations (and holding a 3.77 GPA). Kyrie Ivanovich is majoring in zoology and biomedical sciences at Colorado State University (GPA 3.46). Becca Stephans is majoring in English, theater and secondary education at University of Colorado in Boulder (GPA 3.92).

Here’s the skinny on the event. When: Saturday, Feb. 11 — this is a fabulous start for Valentine’s Day. Time: 6 to 10 p.m. Where: Pagosa Lakes Clubhouse, located at 230 Port Ave. Dress code: Black tie is the tradition for Rotary’s Mardi Gras Casino, but, in Pagosa, anything goes. Tickets: $45 per person and they are available from Rotarians, The Sun office, and Exit Realty at 2383 Eagle Drive.

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