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NJCDC Holds Eighth Annual Casino Night

NJCDC Holds Eighth Annual Casino Night

March 31, 2023

View our Casino Night photo on

NJCDC's Eighth Annual Casino Night—held on Friday, March 24th—continued to earn its reputation as perhaps our most fun event of the year! With the help of our generous sponsors and donors, we raised $35,000 to help make college graduation a reality for Paterson high school students through college scholarships, college tours (including an Ivy League Tour next week), college fairs, and so much more!

Throughout the evening, guests filled the room at The Brownstone to mix, mingle, and "gamble"—all in the name of supporting Paterson's next generation of college graduates! Before gaming began, guests enjoyed cocktail hour and great tunes from DJ Cito. And when not giving blackjack, craps, and roulette a try, attendees indulged in dinner and dessert buffets and had their photos taken in our photo booth.

At the end of the night, guests exchanged their chip winnings for raffle tickets, which they then put towards prizes from local businesses. While not everyone won a prize, every guest left our event knowing they made a difference in the lives of Paterson youth.

Addressing the crowd, NJCDC's Chief Development Officer Parshu Shah and Chief Program Officer David Gelman thanked our sponsors and a few extra-special guests, including our Board Chair Don Buckley and board members Bill Pascrell III and Carline Morrison. Talking about NJCDC's college-readiness programming, Dave said, "Your support tonight goes to so many different college-readiness initiatives. Not just sending students to college, but getting them ready—so that they can apply to college, know what colleges to apply to, and know what steps to take freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year. Of course our most exciting initiative is our Ivy League Tour, now in our seventh year of operation—but unfortunately, our fifth due to COVID. But this year, I'm happy to be able to join our Youth Council when we visit MIT, Brown, and Harvard University!

Dave continued, "Since we started this seven years ago, a minimum of one student has gone to an Ivy League School every year. Even though a lot of folks, to be transparent, did say, "Can Paterson students really compete at the Ivy League?" They absolutely can, so let's give them a round of applause! Not to mention the dozens and dozens of students who maybe visited Harvard and MIT and they didn't apply there, but they had the confidence to apply to Rutgers, to apply to Montclair State, to step out of their comfort zone—so let's give them a round of applause as well. Tonight, let's all #BetonPaterson!"

Indeed, we're seeing clear results from our college-readiness programming. Last year alone, we had students accepted to Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins. And this year, so far participants in our youth development programming have already been accepted into many colleges for the upcoming school year, including Rutgers, Penn State, and the University of Delaware. But we wouldn't be able to offer this programming without the support of our funders.

NJCDC would like to extend a warm thank-you to this year's Casino Night sponsors and raffle prize donors!

Raffle Prize Donors:

Bar Method Montclair Glen Ridge Country Club Pinot's Palette - Montclair Pinot's Palette - Nutley Row House Montclair

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