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Lay your money down for Special Olympics Pictou County

Terry Richardson and Cathy Mason are getting ready for Casino Night, a fundraiser for Pictou County’s Special Olympics program.
Terry Richardson and Cathy Mason are getting ready for Casino Night, a fundraiser for Pictou County’s Special Olympics program. - Kevin Adshade

NEW GLASGOW – Time to belly up to the blackjack table or spin the wheel – and all for a good cause.

Special Olympics Pictou County is holding a Casino Night this coming Saturday at Summer Street Industries in New Glasgow, an annual fundraiser for the local organization.

“Most of the comments we get is that it’s fun and usually everybody comes away with a prize, and they’re also supporting a good cause,” says Cathy Mason, co-ordinator with Special Olympics Pictou County.

Expecting somewhere between 250 and 350 people to show up, Mason said there were a lot of new faces at the 2016 edition of Casino Night, and with the help of word of mouth, “I suspect there’ll be more new faces this year.”

The annual event has been going on for 15 years. Between $10,000 and 12,000 is raised every year and aside from the Race on the River dragon boat festival, this is the second-biggest fundraiser of the year for the local Special Olympics.

“We really plug it as a fun event,” says Terry Richardson, a volunteer with Special Olympics.

“It’s a fun night and the volunteers who run the games, they want to make sure everyone enjoys themselves.”

Tickets can be purchased for $15 at Summer Street Industries or at the door. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the games starting at 7 p.m.

The admission price gets a player a total of 15 chips to gamble, with the option to purchase more if Lady Luck isn’t smiling on them. Chips are then used to bid on items that will be up for grabs at an auction, or to purchase other items directly.

Some of the prizes include a baseball signed by Toronto Blue Jays’ Josh Donaldson with a certificate of authenticity from a reputable sports merchandise dealer, a Blayre Turnbull-autographed (and game-used hockey stick), pizza for a year from Cafe Italia, a golf getaway to Dundee Resort & Golf Club in Cape Breton and many other items.

The Nova Scotia Provincial Lottery & Casino Corporation is a lead supporter of the event.

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