Alpha Tau Omega is donating $23,000 to The Tressel Family Fund for Cancer Prevention Research through their annual Casino Night, said Ted Bross, vice president of Ohio State’s chapter of the fraternity.
This year, the seventh annual Casino Night was held on Friday in the Ohio Union where $40,439 was raised, $18,431 of which helped pay for the event. Bross, a fourth-year in chemistry, said $22,008 will be donated to The Tressel Family Fund.
An estimated 850 people attended the evening event dressed in their finest to play roulette, craps, blackjack and poker. Dan Heath with the Paradise Band was live on the center stage to entertain the attendees and there was a raffle for prizes including autographed sports memorabilia, restaurant certificates and a trip to Hilton Head.
ATO brought in 70 blackjack tables, eight Texas Hold’em tables, four roulette wheels and two craps tables for the all-night event.
At the entrance to the event, attendees were given a set number of chips, and then all winnings at the table could be redeemed for raffle tickets. The more chips won, the more raffle tickets you could get.
The Tressel Family Fund contributes money to the James Cancer Hospital at OSU. Jim Tressel, who founded the fund, was in attendance and spoke to students and took pictures with anyone with a camera.
Less than a week after a press conference in which he admitted to being in violation of NCAA rules, Tressel joined in on the evening festivities. He is currently in the middle of a current NCAA investigation for allegedly failing to report e-mails from attorney and former Buckeye football player Christopher Cicero, indicating players sold football memorabilia to Eddie Rife, the owner of Fine Line Ink Tattoos.
Tressel’s failure to report the e-mails is in violation of both his contract with OSU and NCAA Bylaw 10.1. The university conducted a self-report on the infractions, and is awaiting the results of a report from the NCAA. OSU notified the NCAA of Tressel’s violation Feb. 3 after becoming aware of the Jan. 13 violation.
Katie Nord, a third-year in English, said it felt good to contribute to cancer research.
“It feels really good; my sorority contributes to breast cancer, so it’s really nice to help another fraternity doing something like this,” Nord said.
Bross spoke about why ATO decided to donate money to The Tressel Family Fund.
“It’s what we’ve always done, we’ve developed a relationship with the Tressel’s, and this is our seventh year donating to them,” said Bross. “Coach Tressel is an alumnus of ATO.”
After giving a speech about the evening, Jim Tressel sang the ATO Sweetheart Song to his sweetheart, and wife, Ellen, and to all of the sweethearts of ATO.
Morgan Yablonsky, a second-year in business, said playing blackjack was her favorite part of the event. Yablonsky said she was winning a lot, which was evident by the large number of chips she was struggling to carry across the floor. Nord did not fare as well, as she was completely out of chips.
“Blackjack is really fun, it’s really fun to be out here without having any pressure with money,” Nord said. “We don’t get to do this stuff normally, so it’s just a lot of fun.”
ATO contracted Black Diamond Casino Events for the evening.
“I personally had a spectacular time,” Bross said. “Every year this event gets better and better, this year was the most people we’ve had in attendance, and the most money we’ve donated, and next year we will donate even more.”