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Casino Night Benefits Animal Care Fund

A student-organized Casino Night fundraiser recently raised over $3,000 for the Veterinary Teaching Hospital's Compassionate Care Fund. The January 26 event was planned and hosted by student members of Alpha Psi, Omega Tau Sigma, and the Student Chapter of the American Veterinary Medical Association.

The hospital's Compassionate Care Fund is used to provide financial support when an animal's owners are either unknown or cannot meet the entire financial needs of treatment when there is likelihood for a successful outcome and good quality of life for the animal.

casino night student organizers Casino night organizers included (front row, l-r): Sarah Repsher, Lindsay Vega, Eve Waters
Elizabeth Wall, Thomas Rogers-Cotrone; (middle row): Karen Hicks; (back row, l-r): Brian Neumann, Allison Keil, Larry Carpio, James Flexner, Lucy Lee, and Edward Radue.
View more photos.

More than 420 faculty, staff, students, and their guests were in attendance at the fundraiser held in donated space on the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine campus. Each $10 entry ticket included a bag of chips to get started at the blackjack, roulette, poker, and craps tables where veterinary college faculty served as "dealers."

"We raised $4,280, and after paying expenses for the games, we had $3,000 to donate to the Compassionate Care Fund. I would never have guessed we could raise this much money with our first event," said Brian Neumann ('14). "I was hoping for close to $1,000, so this is just icing on the cake!"

The student planning committee included Neumann, Karen Hicks ('15), Allison Keil ('16), Lucy Lee ('15), Edward Radue ('15), Sarah Repsher ('15), Thomas Rogers-Cotrone ('14), Lindsay Vega ('15), Elizabeth Wall ('15), and Eve Waters ('15). Larry Carpio, a student at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, served on the committee as well.

Faculty showed off their many talents as they controlled the various games. Dealers included Dr. Jeff Alexander, Dr. Irving Coy Allen, Dr. Lara Bartl, Dr. Tom Cecere, Dr. Sherrie Clark, Dr. Ludeman Eng, Dr. Doug Graham, Dr. David Grant, Dr. Jennifer Hodgson, Dr. Bill Huckle, Dr. Stephanie Kemp, Dr. Shawna Klahn, Dr. Martha Larson, Dr. Tanya LeRoith, Dr. Ed Monroe, Dr. Jacque Pelzer, Dr. Kevin Pelzer, Dr. Phil "Arkansas Slim" Pickett, Dr. Bess Pierce, Dr. Jodi Sangster, Dr. Paul Schmidt, Dr. Julie Settlage, and Dr. Nammalwar Sriranganathan.

"I would also like to recognize the faculty and staff who were intricately involved in the planning," said Neumann. "They were Dr. Doug Graham, Dr. Jeff Alexander, Dr. Bonnie Smith, and Lynn Young, who was responsible for getting all of the food donated. And I definitely want to shout out to the student volunteers and the faculty volunteers who gave up their Saturday to come and work the event for us."

Local businesses and veterinary-related companies generously sponsored the four-hour event with donations of food and door prizes. Gold sponsors included Elanco, Purina Mills, Midwest Veterinary Supply, Merial, Dechra Veterinary Products, and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. Silver sponsors included Best Buy, Buffalo Wild Wings, Bull & Bones, the Cellar, Dominos, Edible Arrangements, Food Lion, Iams, Kroger, Log Cabin BBQ, Macado's, Moe's, Olive Garden, Outback, Panera Bread, Pizza Hut, PK's Bar and Grill, Poor Billy's, Professional Catering Inc., Red Lobster, Sals Pizza, Sub Station II, Sycamore Deli, and Zeppoli's.

View more photos from the event in our Facebook photo gallery.