Casino event benefits Drake House

Leadership North Fulton hosts June 15 fundraiser

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NORTH FULTON, Ga. — When a nasty storm ruined the Drake House’s main fundraising event last month, a Leadership North Fulton team found the silver lining in blackjack, roulette and poker.

Leadership North Fulton’s team will host “House of Hearts Casino Night” June 15 to make up the financial losses after the Drake Walk was rained out.

The Drake House is a crisis resident center that serves homeless mothers and children in North Fulton. They have 16 onsite apartments in Roswell.

Funding for Drake House relies primarily on community support, but also on United Way, Fulton County, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs and two annual events — Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin’ and the Drake Walk.

“On May 4, the weather was horrendous for the Drake Walk,” said Executive Director Kathy Swahn. “So the volunteer team on Friday afternoon opted to cancel the event. It was too risky for us to host that at all.”

Canceling this event was a $15,000 loss for the nonprofit because most revenue comes from walkers. Each walker pays $15, and last year, Drake Walk had about 400 walkers participating.

This loss caught Leadership North Fulton’s attention. Leadership North Fulton is made up of community leaders chosen by alumni from previous classes for a yearlong course in the North Fulton community. They learn about the nonprofit organizations and government institutions that comprise it and how these groups cooperate to make the community better.

“There is a different class every year, “said team member Samantha Browning. “We get together and we learn leadership skills and more about North Fulton in general.”

The team named “Royal Flush” heard that Drake House had to cancel their primary event and they decided to develop their own event.

“After we learned about the Drake House and realized this was an actual problem here, we knew that this was the organization we wanted to help,” Browning said.

Casino Night was developed as something fun to do that would produce a lot of interaction, and the team thought it was perfect because of their name, Browning said.

The night will include paper money for gambling, beverages and appetizers, live and silent auctions and all the fun of a casino night in Las Vegas.

“We are expecting it to bring in $20,000, which would more than offset any deficit that we had from the walk,” she said.

Sponsorships and tickets are available at www.thedrakehousecasinonight.org.