WESTFIELD, NJ – The Fourth Annual Support Our Troops Casino Night and Auction will be held Nov. 23 at 7 pm at the Westfield Armory, and organizers encourage the local community to come enjoy a night of festivities.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Family Readiness Group of the 1st Squadron 102nd Cavalry Regiment, 50th Brigade Combat Team of the New Jersey Army National Guard, which is based out of the Westfield Armory and supports over 500 soldiers and their families.
Tickets, which can be purchased at the door or at www.102cavalryfrg.eventzilla.net, are $50 for general public or $40 for veterans. Discounts apply for active members of the military.
Tickets include a buffet dinner, beer, wine and $60 worth of gambling chips. Attendees can try their hand at roulette, black jack, money wheel and poker. Dress is casual.
Event organizers Danielle Bracco, who is FRG leader of HHT 1 - 102nd Cavalry Squadron, Army National Guard and volunteer Christine Bradley hope to give the soldiers a chance to relax and have fun with their families and the community.
“It’s a really fun night. It’s a night to celebrate with everybody,” Bracco said.
A Family Readiness Group (FRG) is an officially command-sponsored organization of family members, volunteers and soldiers of a certain unit to assist with support and communication along the chain of command and the larger community.
FRGs also offer morale, welfare and recreation to troops who may be away from their homes and loved ones. The Westfield FRG sends care packages to deployed soldiers, provides breakfast for soldiers during drill weekends, hosts a Family Day barbecue in September and throws a holiday party with gifts for the children in December.
These services are crucial to soldiers of the 102nd Cavalry, which represents companies from Westfield, Dover, West Orange and Hackettstown, because there is no nearby base and military families tend to be spread out around the area.
“It’s really important for our kind of FRG to have social events so the soldiers and their families can come together,” Bracco said.
Prizes to be raffled off at Casino Night include two round-trip tickets on Air Canada, passes to Galloping Hill Golf Course, Sunday brunch at the Hilton Short Hills, a silver membership to the Westfield Area Y and tickets to a New York Jets game, as well as tickets to the New York Philharmonic.
Prizes for the silent auction include tickets to The Late Show with David Letterman, a one-night New York City getaway and New York Yankees tickets.
In addition, the VFW Post #493 in Nutley has donated a 46-inch television to be given away in a special raffle only for soldiers.
Businesses donating prizes include Air Canada; Guillotine, Westfield; Crayola Experience, Easton, Pa; Adventure Aquarium, Camden; Alstede Farms, Chester; Battleship New Jersey; On the Side, Westfield; Riju Nails, Westfield; Starlight Cleaners, Westfield; San Marzano, Westfield; Galloping Hill Golf Course; Shop Rite Liquors; Westfield Area YMCA; Tiffany Pharmacy, Westfield; Hilton Short Hills; Blue Man Group; The Farmhouse Store, Westfield; Charlie Brown’s; Paper Mill Playhouse; Aloft, Mount Laurel; L’Oreal; Chimney Hill Inn, Lambertville; Medieval Times, Lyndhurst; Portosoft, Westfield; New York Jets; Neiman Marcus, Short Hills, George Street Playhouse; State Theater of NJ; Mayo Performing Arts; NJPAC; Jenkinson’s Boardwalk; Supercuts; Sheraton Lincoln Harbor; New York Philharmonic; Party Lite; Mohegan Sun; Tamar Jewelry, Westfield; Salon One Seventeen, Cranford; Chelsea Piers, NYC; John’s Meat Market, Scotch Plains; Iroquois Hotel, NYC; Somerset Patriots; Dine Around Westfield; Brunner Opticians, Westfield; River Palm Terrace, Edgewater; Rutgers Athletics; STOMP; Brooklyn Nets; Carmine’s Atlantic City; Lord & Taylor, Westfield; Headturners, Westfield; Trader Joe’s, Robert Treat, Westfield; QVC; Dr. Kenneth Arida; The Late Show with David Letterman; Algonquin Hotel, NYC; David Drake Restaurant Group; New York Yankees; Duane Street Hotel; New York Jets; Trish McEvoy, Short Hills; NJ Devils.