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Casino Night Benefits Education Foundation

Casino Night
Contributor: Jamie Richardson


The CCEF’s Game of Games Night Has a Totally RAD 80s Theme This Year!

📅 Feb 24th at 7pm
📍 Kettle Room Events Center at Gibson Mill
325 McGill Ave NW, Concord, NC 28027

The Cabarrus County Education Foundation’s (CCEF’s) annual Game of Games Night takes participants on a nostalgic journey to the vibrant 80s era 🎉🌟. The night features casino games, entertainment, and refreshments, creating an atmosphere of nostalgia, philanthropy, and fun 🎲🎶.

The CCEF empowers students in Cabarrus County Schools with the tools and opportunities needed to excel academically and personally through innovative programs and resources.

📽️ Watch WCNC’s Seeking Solutions Feature: Helping students build reading skills.

2023 game of games night silent auction

Photo credits: Michael A. Anderson Photography

🎭 🕹️ Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite 80s movie characters, adding a fun twist to the event.

Three women taking a selfie at photo booth

Game of Games Night group wearing themed attire.

Game of Games Night raffle

group of ladies dancing

Have you always wanted to try Craps, Blackjack, or Roulette? Now you can while also raising money for a great cause! Tickets are available for purchase, and local businesses can sponsor the event, showcasing their commitment to community and education 💼. Tables and sponsorships are expected to sell out quickly.

An individual “Hans Solo Ticket” includes entrance for one person, $5,000 play cash, 1 raffle ticket, music, hors d’oeuvres and 1 limited drink ticket for nonalcoholic, beer or wine beverage for $80.

You can also grab your friends or family for a “Breakfast Club 4 Pack of Tickets” for $300. The pack includes entrance for four people, $20,000 play cash, 4 raffle tickets, music, hors d’oeuvres and 4 limited drink tickets for mocktail, beer, wine or other nonalcoholic beverage.

Unlimited beverage packages may be purchased separately for either $50 or $65 (includes cocktails in addition to beer, cider, and wine).

game of games night blackjack table

game of games night craps dealer

game of games night roulette table

group attending CCEF's game of games night

event sponsor list

See more photos from the 2023 event.

Foundation’s Founding Years

The Cabarrus County Education Foundation (CCEF) was founded in 2001 by Grace Mynatt, a retired school teacher and community leader, and Roy Davis, Jr., a staunch supporter of public education. Roy’s initial donation of $100,000 laid the foundation for a volunteer-run organization that aimed to enhance education in CCS. The early years focused on funding programs like the Direct Instruction Reading Program, Superintendent’s Choice Art Awards, and supporting first-year teachers.

Expanding Impact and Formal Management

In 2012, the foundation expanded its impact by introducing the classroom grant program to support teachers in providing creative and innovative learning opportunities. Formal management became crucial, leading to the hiring of Rachel Wilkes as the first full-time Executive Director in 2014. Under her leadership, CCEF’s annual luncheon, classroom grant program, and the First-Generation Scholarship program flourished.

Amy Gough, the current Executive Director, took the reins in 2016, further propelling the foundation’s growth. CCEF has since expanded its programming to include Cabarrus LINK and the Reading+Mentoring 4 Success programs. The foundation has supported CCS Career & Technical Education initiatives, facilitated business/school partnerships, and contributed over $1,000,000 to CCS.

CCEF’s Mission and New Programs

CCEF’s mission is to champion future leaders by providing vital life skills and hands-on learning opportunities deeply connected to the local business community. By empowering students to excel in an ever-evolving world, CCEF strives to arm them with the necessary tools for a brighter future.

The Cabarrus County Education Foundation (CCEF) is dedicated to instilling a love for reading in children through its Reading+Mentoring 4 Success program. The program employs three key strategies based on the latest research.

Firstly, it emphasizes the importance of encouraging pleasure reading, as students who engage in reading for pleasure tend to outperform their peers academically and experience greater success in the workforce.

Secondly, CCEF focuses on building students’ home libraries, recognizing that having at least 20 books at home significantly impacts reading proficiency. The foundation organizes Book-a-Palooza events to provide books to every student, nurturing the growth of their personal libraries.

young readers showing off new books

CCFE gifts students books

Photo credits: CCEF Facebook

Lastly, the program ensures students acquire the necessary skills for success by promoting strong reading skills, with a 1:1 mentor-student ratio. Students attend sessions twice weekly with the same mentor, benefiting from a relationship that opens their hearts and minds to learning. Volunteer training, interactive curriculum, and onsite support contribute to the program’s effectiveness in aligning with the science of reading and Cabarrus County Schools’ standards.

volunteer readers

In the realm of STEM education, CCEF’s STEM CONNECT program bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and real-world applications. Students engage in hands-on projects and critical thinking exercises, learning problem-solving, teamwork, adaptability, and effective communication – skills crucial in today’s job market. The foundation collaborates with industry partners to provide experiential learning opportunities, exploring fields such as Aerospace Engineering, Culinary, Robotics, and Aviation.

Sweet Treats Bake-Off Challenge is one such STEM Connect experience, allowing students to showcase their culinary and business acumen. From formulating product descriptions to handling finances and marketing strategies, students gain valuable life skills in this yummy competition.

CCEF sweet treats bake off challenge

CCEF encourages community involvement through various volunteering opportunities, including Striving Readers Mentoring, Book-a-Palooza Events, STEM Connect partnerships, Classroom Grant Selection Team, and more. The foundation values the collective effort of businesses, nonprofits, and individuals in supporting the education of Cabarrus County’s youth.

The Cabarrus County Education Foundation has come a long way since its inception, evolving to meet the changing needs of the community. Through innovative initiatives and community engagement, CCEF continues to champion future leaders, shaping a brighter tomorrow for Cabarrus County students.


  • Only 12% of first graders who are behind in reading will catch up by 3rd grade.
  • By the end of third grade, 74% of struggling readers won’t ever catch up.
  • For those not reading on grade level by the end of 3rd grade, they are 4 times more likely to drop out of school.
  • Low achievement in reading is also the common denominator in school discipline, attendance and dropout problems and juvenile crime.
  • High school dropouts are 2X as likely to live in poverty
  • Dropouts face unemployment rates 50% higher than HS graduates.
  • High school graduates earn $10,000 more annually than high school dropouts.


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