Fifth annual casino night scheduled for this Friday

Walking through the front door of the Sunnyside Senior Center this Friday evening will be like walking through a portal and finding yourself in glitzy Las Vegas.

There will be blackjack tables, a craps table, horse racing and spin the wheel games people will be wheeling and dealing over, making bets and waiting for the payout.

The only difference between the senior center and the Las Vegas strip - when you walk through the door in Sunnyside, someone will hand you $200 with which to gamble.

Friday night marks the fifth annual casino night for senior citizens. The gambling, open to all 50 years of age and older, will begin at 6 p.m. at the Sunnyside Senior Center at 1400 Federal Way.

Joan Niemeyer with the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Department explained that people attending the event will be given $200 in fake money to gamble with, then at the end of the night people will have a chance to use their winnings to bid on auction items. She noted that the auction includes everything from food coupons to shirts and hats.

Besides the regular casino games, Niemeyer said sometime towards the middle of the event there will be a break in the gaming for people to take part in a "game show." This year the game show scheduled to be played during casino night is one inspired by the television show "Let's Make a Deal." Niemeyer said it has been several years since they staged this particular game show.

During casino night, Niemeyer also noted, the kitchen at the senior center will be open, offering everything from fruit to sandwiches and cookies.

This year marks the fifth time the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Department has hosted casino night, an event that takes several weeks to plan. Niemeyer said a date for the event is typically set in late spring, with letters asking merchants for prize donations going out during the first week of August.

Niemeyer said every year the casino event attracts as many as 50 seniors. Admission to the event is free. For more information contact the Sunnyside Parks and Recreation Department at 837-8660 or simply show up at the door.

. Elena Olmstead can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or e-mail her at


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