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Gamblers Kick Off Fundraising Drive

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Fina O’Brien and Jason Mackrell from Brisbane cast their eyes over the Casino Night’s money wheel before gaming got underway

September 25, 2018

A community fundraising campaign to build an inclusive playground for disabled children at Nanango’s Butter Factory Park got off to a flying start on Saturday night.

The Nanango Tourism and Development Association’s (NaTDA) fifth annual Casino Night was the first official fundraiser held for the project, and the 50 people who attended all pitched in to help the night try to reach its $2000 goal.

Guests at the event were encouraged to dress up (and many certainly did).

But others chose a more relaxed approach to fashion and no one really seemed to mind.

Instead, the focus of most people’s attention was the casino-standard gaming tables that packed out Taras Hall.

They offered a choice of roulette, blackjack, Texas hold’em poker and craps, along with a money wheel.

There would be a great prize for the night’s biggest winner, guests were told, and another for the most generous contributor.

And there’d be a few other prizes as well.

Professional croupiers from BrisVegas were on hand to provide friendly instruction for those new to the games, and Arthur Nettelfield enlivened the night with live music.

Guests could also quench their thirst at the bar, or snack on trays of finger foods whisked around the gaming tables by happy volunteers.

While everyone received $4000 in play money when they walked through the door, those unlucky enough to lose it all could buy a fresh start at the casino’s exchange.

Guests wagered feverishly for hours, but in the end last year’s biggest winner proved he still had what it took to break the bank.

Terry Mackrell claimed the top prize with total winnings of more than $17 million, almost double his $9.6 million effort last year.

“I wish this was real,” Terry said ruefully afterwards, casting his eyes over a mountain of chips.

“But then again, if it was I probably would’ve had a heart attack somewhere between the evening news sports roundup and the weather report.”

Afterwards, NaTDA past president Gloria Kirkness said it would probably take a week to work out the night’s final result.

But she thought the Casino Night had been very successful, and everyone had a great time.

Two more Butter Factory Park fundraisers will be held in the next two months.

On October 31, Nanango’s annual Halloween Night in Little Drayton Street will be accepting gold coin donations towards the project.

And on November 24, Nanango’s first-ever Zombie Invasion will be held at Tipperary Flat (see separate story).

The Butter Factory Park project has already received support from the South Burnett Regional Council, and both Stanwell and Heritage Bank Nanango have expressed interest in the project.

NaTDA are acting as the auspicing body for all fundraising efforts.

Related articles:

Some guests dressed formally, like Grant Sheean and Claire-Marie Pepper …

… while others preferred a more relaxed approach, like Charlie and Bronwyn from Nanango

The gaming tables were manned by professional croupiers from BrisVegas, who all provided assistance to anyone new to a game

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