Fans Hit Jackpot at 60's Era Casino Night

Wednesday, 01.29.2014 / 11:07 PM
Chris Pinkert  - St. Louis Blues

Don Draper didn’t attend the Blues Casino Night event at Scottrade Center, but if he had, he might have felt right at home.

Wednesday’s seventh annual event, which raises money for the Blues 14 Fund, featured a 1960’s theme – the same era in which Draper began schmoozing and pitching his ideas for Sterling Cooper in the AMC series “Mad Men.”

Guests at the sold out Casino Night, which was presented by the United Fruit and Produce Company, received $5,000 in Blues Bucks with which to gamble at poker, blackjack, roulette and craps tables spread across the Scottrade Center floor. Blues players dressed the part in their suits, skinny ties and fedoras that were a staple of the era and served as celebrity dealers. Gamblers with lady luck on their side were able to cash in their winnings for great Blues prizes, including autographed jerseys, sticks and gift baskets.

“This is awesome. Anytime you get to interact with the fans and it’s not just a three-second autograph signing and a quick hello, it’s special,” Blues defenseman Barret Jackman said. “Here you get to hang out, play games and really relax in an environment that the fans and the players both appreciate.”

In addition, guests enjoyed dinner from St. Louis Originals restaurants and participated in live and silent auctions that included a road trip with the team, autographed photos, jerseys, metal prints and signed guitars from country stars Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

To top it off, the lounge and bar area featured Draper’s favorite drink, the Old Fashioned.

“(Just) nothing but excitement,” said Anthony Casciaro, a Blues fan that was attending his first Casino Night. “Just the idea of meeting the players is overwhelming, but I sat down and played blackjack with T.J. Oshie. He was a good dealer.

“The whole team, I just love them. It’s a great experience, a great thing that they’re doing. I just try to support them as much as possible.”

Approximately 500 people attended the event, which sold out weeks ago. Estimates of the money raised this year are not yet available, but last year’s event raised more than $113,000 for the Blues 14 Fund, the team’s charitable trust.

The Blues 14 Fund was established in 1998 to honor former Blue Doug Wickenheiser, who scored arguably the most memorable goal in franchise history in the Monday Night Miracle game in 1986. Wickenheiser died of cancer in 1999. Since, the Blues 14 Fund has contributed more than $3 million to the St. Louis community in the areas of cancer care and awareness, health and wellness, education and youth hockey development.

Diane Wickenheiser, Doug’s wife, was in attendance for Wednesday’s event.

“I met Diane about 16 years ago when I was playing in Regina,” Jackman said. “I was one of the fortunate guys that got to meet Doug when he was still alive. To see their family and what they mean to hockey is something dear to me and it is very easy for me to keep this foundation alive.”

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