“This is our marquee fund-raiser event of the year,” said Lora Farris, Executive Director of the Dallas Stars Foundation. “We are so grateful to Park Place Dealerships for their continued support of the Dallas Stars Foundation. This is their 13th year as the title sponsor, and it’s an event that would not be possible without their leadership and vision. All of our guests agreed that Park Place Jaguar was the perfect venue for our Casino Night!”
Attendees had the chance to mingle with Stars players and management in a fun party setting with various casino tables featuring black jack (with the Stars acting as dealers), Texas Hold ‘Em, craps and roulette. Many brought jerseys or pucks for players to autograph or just had their pictures taken with their favorite player.
“This event’s a lot of fun,” noted on-ice agitator/off-ice good guy Steve Ott
. “There’s no other event where you can have a little party with the fans. They enjoy the company, the gambling, and the atmosphere, and we enjoy the chance to mix and mingle with them as well. It's always fun to take part in any event that supports the Dallas Stars Foundation as it is such a great cause. I personally enjoy Casino Night more than any event that we do."
When guests of the event weren't gambling or visiting with their favorite Stars players, they were enjoying a delicious dinner catered by Dallas Chop House and Dallas Fish Market, decadent desserts provided by Wendy Krispin, and refreshments from one of the well- stocked bars thanks to Brown-Forman, Ben E. Keith and Dr Pepper.
“A lot of the events we attend, like the various appearances or the hospital visits, they’re great but they're kind of just in-and-out real quick,” added rising Star Jamie Benn
. "But this one is fun because you get to just hang out for a while up close and personal with the fans for three or four hours, so it’s nice to talk to them and get to know them. It seems like they really appreciate it as well. I'm a big poker player, too so I enjoyed the gambling! ”
And it’s not just the players that draw the attention of the Stars fans. Award-winning TV and radio announcers Ralph Strangis and Daryl ‘Razor’ Reaugh were also popular amongst the crowd, and proved to be a very entertaining duo once again as they entertained the crowd while emceeing the live auction at the end of the night.
“I think it’s our best event in terms of the ability for our fans and some of our best fans to come out and be this close to the players and all of us,” Strangis said. “People can rub elbows and play cards with them, and it’s a real loose environment. There’s good food and there’s good people. And it’s always fun to come to Park Place - the Park Place people are the best and every year we move from dealership to dealership and they’re just terrific and that’s a big part of what makes Casino Night a continued success.”
Of course, in addition to getting the chance to mingle with the Stars, attendees also had the opportunity to bid on many incredible auction packages, both live and silent. The live auction raised over $70,000 – a new record. Topping the bidding was a trip to Prince Edward Island with the Stars for training camp this coming September for $20,000.
Other big sellers included dinner with Adam Burish
and Jamie Benn
, which went for $3,100, a kids party for 20 at Dr Pepper Arena with Steve Ott
and Trevor Daley
for $4,000, and a trip to the Winter Classic, including airfare on American Airlines and two tickets to the game, for $3,500, all while Ralph and Razor kept everyone entertained with their trademark witty banter.
Another big hit was the Stars players’ “favorite things” baskets, as part of the silent auction. The players’ wives and girlfriends helped put together baskets that best represented their man - anything from favorite movies, music, and candy to iPods, jerseys and game -used sticks.
Overall, it was another great night, once again confirming that the Park Place Dallas Stars Casino Night is one of the most memorable nights of the year.