Most times, players enter a blackjack tournament for the purpose of entertainment and profit potential. Sometimes, there’s a more eminent allure for fans of the game. That was certainly the case last month when gamblers from all over southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond gathered at The Meadows Casino in Washington, PA.
The casino was hosting its second annual fundraiser to benefit the Monongahela Valley Hospital, some 20 miles to the east. Diners, high rollers and blackjack tournament aficionados were invited to gather for an evening of fun and philanthropy, and the turnout was beyond expectations.
The special fundraiser event occurred on the evening of Thursday, February 19 at the Meadows Casino, raising upwards of $20,000 for MVH. There were three levels of donations and entries available to those who in attendance, including a blackjack tournament, high roller experience and a food and entertainment package.
Those who did not want to participate in any of the fundraiser’s gambling activities could choose the Food and Entertainment package. Those guests were asked to donate just $35. In return, they were privy to the free dinner and drink specials at the casino.
High Rollers could play any games they wished, and also enjoyed free food and beverages. These attendees were asked to register for $50, for which they would receive a $25 credit to play the slots. Other games like roulette and video could be played on the player’s own dime.
The Blackjack Tournament was the highlight of the evening, and helped to raise the largest amount of funds for Monongahela Valley Hospital. The tournament was limited to 72 seats and the cost to register was set at $250, with four starting flights on the menu, each spread 45 minutes apart (5:45pm, 6:30pm, 7:15pm and 8:00pm).
Those who survived their first flight (i.e. players who had the highest number of chips remaining when time ran out) qualified to participate in the final round of the blackjack tournament at 9:15pm. And in the end, the top six finishers in the blackjack tournament were awarded with a cash prize, scaling from, $250 for 6th place, up to $5,000 for the 1st place winner.
Once all of the donations were calculated, MVH took away near $20k to help fund the hospital’s new endeavor to build the Breast Care Center of Excellence. The center focuses on three key elements of breast care health; awareness, early detection and treatment of cancer and other breast related health issues.
“This new Center will be a complete, multifaceted approach to breast care and breast health and we are proud to be able to offer such comprehensive care to our community,” said Sara Schumacher, VP of Fund Development for MVH. “We appreciate The Meadows Casino being such a gracious host for the event and helping us make the Breast Care Center a reality for the women of the region.”
The Monongahela Valley Hospital is well deserving of the funds raised by the Meadows Casino’s blackjack tournament. Last year, MVH received the VHA Performance Excellence Award and, more importantly for patients of the hospital, the Patient Experience Award, rated higher than the national average by HealthGrades in 9 out of 10 patient survey categories.