Over $233k for local student scholarships raised at 5th annual Casino Night

JACKSON, Wyo. — Over $233k was raised for local students at the JH Rotary Lunch Club Foundation’s 5th annual Casino Night celebrated Nov. 7 in the Silver Dollar Bar.

Jim Waldrop, a Rotarian and President of The Silver Dollar Inc., welcomed virtual guests to Casino Night from The Wort Hotel and spoke of the gratitude for our valley’s generosity towards scholarship programs like Rotary’s.

Virtual hosts Melissa Turley, Club President, and Jeff Ward of the Club Foundation guided folks through a program of silent auction bids. Photo: JH Rotary

Bill Baxter, the owner of The Wort Hotel, Mr. Waldrop, and everyone at The Wort continues to make Casino Night a cannot miss event in Jackson’s social calendar. Their efforts in the last five years have raised over a million dollars for student scholarships that benefit a diverse array of students who have shown merit through academics, work ethic, drive, and future goals.

While being virtual meant guests could not “gamble” and mingle, Casino Night hosts and committee organizers were dedicated in their efforts to make the event memorable.

Virtual hosts Melissa Turley, Club President, and Jeff Ward of the Club Foundation guided folks through a program of silent auction bids, including an original Amy Ringholz painting, live music from Aspen Dawn, and video from Orijin media featuring Rotarians and past scholarship winners.

Past Rotary scholarship winner America Martinez told viewers how the scholarships are “an investment in a life-changing outcome for a student.” Martinez is currently a freshman at the University of Wyoming.

Bruce Hawtin, a Rotarian in Jackson since the early 70s, discussed how he was fortunate to have resources that allowed his success and how scholarships provided that opening for others as well. “All we have to do is provide them the opportunity and encourage them to take advantage of it, and they will be successful.”

“We are grateful for a community that stepped up in these extraordinary times to support our students who need to know, maybe now more than ever, that we are behind them,” says Rotary President Melissa Turley. “The Wort Hotel, especially Andi Caruso and Sara Judson, went above and beyond, like always, to make sure this year was successful. We cannot thank everyone who supported us and our generous, amazing sponsors enough for encouraging our local students to reach their potential.”

“This year, we certainly missed seeing our friends and neighbors at The Wort. Casino Night would not be possible without our fantastic sponsors who this year continued in their giving and support,” says The Wort Hotel General Manager Jim Waldrop. “We look forward to recognizing our extraordinary senior class next spring, and we are indebted to everyone who came out this year.”

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