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The Drake House in Roswell banking on Casino Night
by Joan Durbin
June 12, 2013 09:54 AM | 2532 views | 0 0 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend | print
From left, Karen Pye, development director, The Drake House, and members of the Leadership North Fulton Team Michele Wade, Rebecca Gilbert and Samantha Browning.
From left, Karen Pye, development director, The Drake House, and members of the Leadership North Fulton Team Michele Wade, Rebecca Gilbert and Samantha Browning.
When rain washed out the annual Drake Walk in early May, it also took a big chunk out of the sponsoring nonprofit’s funding.

“Because so much of the financial support for the walk is realized the day of the event, we fell short of about $15,000 from our fundraising goal,” said Kathy Swahn, executive director of The Drake House.

The Roswell-based facility provides short term housing for mothers and children in crisis as well as the assessment, resources and support to help them get on their feet and keep the family intact. Swahn said that the agency’s intake coordinator is overwhelmed with calls for housing, and with the school year ended, she expects that volume to continue. Enter six men and women in the North Fulton Chamber Leadership Program, which charges small teams of class members with sponsoring a unique community service project. Concerned about the Drake’s funding shortfall, they devised what they hope will be a solution.

Because all of the Drake House’s fundraisers are family-oriented, said team member Rebecca Gilbert, “we thought an adult-themed event would be great because it would help them reach a wider audience and maybe develop some long term benefactors.”

On Saturday, the team’s brainchild, House of Hearts Casino Night, will be in full swing at Emory Johns Creek Hospital, which is hosting the event in its Physicians’ Plaza.

From 6 to 10 p.m., guests are invited to try their hands at gaming tables in support of the Drake House.

The evening includes drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres throughout the evening, with live and silent auctions. “This is our first event of this type. The Leadership Class actually approached us with the concept and are pretty much planning the whole thing,” Swahn said. “Heretofore, we hosted two events, Drake Walk and Miss Mary’s Ice Cream Crankin‘, both family focused events during the day.” The team, which calls itself the Royal Flush, is comprised of Gilbert, event chairwoman Samantha Browning, Michele Wade, Zack Phillips, Hans Appen and Andy Stancil.

“There are so many different galas every year in north Fulton, we wanted something that would stand out from the crowd,” Gilbert said.

Tickets are $100 per person and $150 for a couple. The team’s goal is to sell out the event and raise $20,000 for the nonprofit.

For information or to buy tickets, go to
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