On the evening of April 29, the Kiwanis Club of Shorewood and Skooter’s Roadhouse provided the Village of Shorewood with a casino with a special mission: to raise money to benefit local children and their families in the community.
“This is our sixth year doing it,” said Matt Bibo, president of Kiwanis Club of Shorewood. “We raise money for children’s organizations, anything that can benefit a child.”
Highlights during this year’s Casino Night Gala included a raffle, silent auction, dinner and entertainment.
Last year, the Kiwanis Club of Shorewood raised more than $11,000.
“It’s something that’s needed in the community, I think,” Bibo said.
Organizations and programs benefiting from the annual gala in the past included The Miracle League of Joliet, Shorewood Shop With a Cop, Shorewood Glen Blanket Program and Boys & Girls Club of Joliet.
“It could change every year,” he said. “We kind of find out what they’re looking for, and then we accordingly give.”
Bibo said it’s important for the community to come together in support of children.
“I don’t think there’s enough to do for the kids,” he said. “That’s why we do this. We’re strictly 100 percent kids.”
Typically, close to 100 people drop in for the Casino Night Gala.
“They play, they can learn,” Bibo said of the casino games. “The dealers can teach them how to play. It’s something fun.”
Dave Domkey, of Shorewood, said he’s glad to show his support for the Kiwanis Club of Shorewood by dropping in.
“I had a loving family, and I think any child that lacks that direction should have an opportunity to find support and their own means,” he said. “I think it’s a fantastic cause, and I’m happy to be here.”
This year was Domkey’s first time attending the gala. Browsing through the raffle prizes on display, he said found a number of items of interest, and in particular, one stood out to him.
“Being that I am a Sox fan, I like the Sox tickets,” Domkey said.
Jim Daniels, of Shorewood, was browsing through the raffle prizes with his wife, Barbie.
“It’s a good mix of stuff,” he said.
“We’ve been here before, and it’s always been a great time,” she said.
Jim said supporting the Kiwanis Club of Shorewood means a lot to him.
“I wasn’t one that grew up with a lot,” he said. “It’s nice to have a little support. Coming out to do this for the kids is a great idea.”
Barbie, too, shared that sentiment.
“We want to support the kids,” she said.
Barbie said the work of the Kiwanis Club of Shorewood is much needed.
“Not everyone is fortunate, and they could use some help and support,” she said. “It’s just nice to be able to give back.”