Gambling for Kids |

Gambling for Kids

Emma Garrard/Sierra SunHeidi and Dave Davis celebrate as Brian Freitas hands over chips after a win in Texas Hold'Em.

Dressed in cowboy boots, hats and Western shirts some 200 people played in a Texas Hold’Em Poker competition and enjoyed the silent auction, live music and barbecue at the Olympic Village Inn in Squaw Valley Saturday night. If that wasn’t entertaining enough party-goers could test their rodeo skills on a mechanical bull or try to figure out Mark Crowe’s magic card tricks.

The annual event hopes to raise some $40,000 for the KidZone, both for monthly expenses and for building a new building. It is a fundraiser but also a marketing event introducing more members of the community to the children’s museum, said Carol Meagher, the KidZone director.

“It’s so important the doors wouldn’t be open without this event,” Meagher said.

The KidZone is housed in a structure owned by the Truckee Recreation and Parks District and is currently sitting on Tahoe Truckee Unified School District land. The KidZone’s lease is up in a month Meagher said.

“We have to move but I’m not sure what the timeline is,” Meagher said.

Meagher hopes the KidZone, which currently holds 60 people, will eventually be able to relocate to a larger building to accommodate more children.

“We have been so packed sometimes we have to turn people away,” Carol Meagher said.

Expanding will also create more opportunities for learning. The KidZone hopes to build a nature center, art studio and science lab Meagher said.

Ashley Banovich, who helped organize the event, said the KidZone needs a new facility as it has outgrown the current building. She was also pleased with the turnout and enthusiasm of the attendees considering the current economy.

“It’s hard to do a fundraiser with the economy,” Banovich said. “Everyone was so excited it was fun to be at.”

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