Casino Night to raise funds for mental health

Cassie Buchman, City Editor

LifeLinks will be hosting a “Casino Night” to raise funds to benefit those dealing with mental health issues at 7 p.m. Saturday at Mattoon Golf and Country Club.

Debby Cook, a compliance officer who also works in marketing and development for LifeLinks, said it is an annual fundraiser.

“It was successful for the first year. People really enjoy it,” Cook said. “It was a fairly good turnout. I’m hoping for even better turnout this year.”

The LifeLinks agency provides outpatient services to those dealing with mental issues, serving both children and adults with schizophrenia, major depression and bipolar disorder.

The agency has been working as a non-profit for 50 years.

Cook said she was not yet sure how LifeLinks would use the money raised to serve those with mental issues.

“It depends on how much we raise; there’s no specific plan right now,” she said.

One way fundraisers like “Casino Night” helps LifeLinks is by raising the agency’s visibility in the community.

“It gets the word out for those with mental health problems that we are here, and we do provide help,” she said.

Currently, LifeLinks serves 2,700 people per year including more than 800 children.

The agency serves children differently than adults, using counseling including play therapy. LifeLinks also does not provide residential services for children as they do adults.

A raffle will also be at the “Casino Night,” with four prizes available. The largest prize is $500, and the rest are monetary prizes as well.

Cook said the games are Las Vegas themed.

“We will play Roulette, Blackjack, Texas Hold’em, Bang,” she said.

Pull-tabs and a cash bar will be available as well as appetizers provided by the country club.

“They did a beautiful job,” Cook said.

Some music will also be played at the event, with piano players who will be performing.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Cook said. “People can gamble as much, or as little as they want.”

Participants must be 21 or older to attend. A Cash Bar where people can buy their own drinks will be at the event.

People can buy tickets at the door, but Cook said they are encouraged to buy them in advance.

The doors open at 6 p.m on Saturday, and the Casino night will end at 11 p.m.

Cassie Buchman can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].