Viva Aunt Rita’s Places High Stakes on Charity

Viva Aunt Rita’s Places High Stakes on Charity

By Hana Khalyleh, April 9, 2015.


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Aunt Rita’s Foundation is hosting its second annual “red hot casino night” April 17 at The Venue of Scottsdale.

Viva Aunt Rita’s, a Vegas-themed charity event, is one way the organization raises funds for its 17 benefiting organizations, which include Compassion In Action, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, one n ten, Joshua Tree Feeding Program Inc. and the Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS

“Viva Aunt Rita’s is a cocktail reception with fabulous Vegas entertainment,” said CJ Minott, Aunt Rita’s director of events. “Last year was a great success, with over 500 attendees in its first year, [and] our guests couldn’t wait to see again.”

Upon arrival, guests with general admission will receive $50 in Rita Bucks and VIP guests will receive $100 in Rita Bucks. From there, the Rita Bucks can be exchanged for chips and used at the 27 casino tables, which will include blackjack, craps, poker, roulette and a money wheel. Additional Rita Bucks are available for purchase.

Then, at the end of the evening, guests are invited to exchange their “winnings” for raffle entries. Each entry costs $100 Rita Bucks.

WEB_VivaAuntRitas_2“This will be a lot of fun, in a great setting, with a little bit of glamour,” said Barbra Seville, the event’s hostess. “My job is to keep the night moving … and make people laugh. So basically, it is another day at the office.”

The evening will also feature a silent auction and entertainment by The Kenny Thames Trio and Anthony La Motta.

“I am honored to be a part of this event,” said Kenny Thames, the band’s owner and frontman. “We plan to bring the Las Vegas feel to the stage.”

According to Minott, the event’s objective is to bring the community together and to raise much needed funds for Aunt Rita’s benefitting agencies.

“We also hope to increase public awareness and education around HIV within the community,” Minott said.

The event’s silent auction will include more than 100 items – ranging from gift certificates and jewelry to art and tickets to local theatres and museums – that have been donated by local businesses, charities and artists.

“I love working with Aunt Rita’s … I am honored to be a part of anything that they do,” Seville said.

Viva Aunt Rita’s
8 p.m.-midnight April 17
The Venue of Scottsdale
7117 E. Third St., Scottsdale