Lakeview Village Chief Operating Officer Mary Schworer doesn’t have any formal training on how to deal Black Jack, but on Tuesday night, she rolled up her sleeves, shuffled some decks, and dealt some big winners.
“I’m a good dealer; I was losing so they could win,” she said, laughing.
On Tuesday night, Lakeview Village residents turned out in droves for the Lenexa, Kan., senior living community’s annual “Resident Appreciation Night,” aka “Casino Night,” a fun evening of friendly gambling—Black Jack, roulette, mice races—thrown by the community, and served up by staff—all volunteering—so residents can have a good time.
Schworer and her husband, Bruce Schworer (a chemist) both dealt Black Jack. Other staff ferried cocktails, ran the raffle, the roulette tables, dealt poker and other card games, and monitored the mice races.
Resident Appreciation Night began four years ago after the community decided to extend its Volunteer Appreciation Night for residents to every resident in the community.
“All of our residents are very important to us, and we wouldn’t be here without them,” Schworer said. “We wanted to be able to tell all of our residents that we appreciate them.”
Since the night was in the spirit of fun, many residents helped each other out—giving away chips, or offering advice—and seemed to have a good time doing it. Mice—named by the residents—raced through mazes and residents placed bets on which furry creatures would outsmart the others.
“We had one lady who was betting ‘$500’ on Black Jack every time, and was winning every hand. Another woman sat down and doubled her money within 20 minutes,” she said.
The catering staff made an array of hors d’oeuvres—crab rangoons, meatballs and desserts. At the end of the night, everyone turned in their winnings (chips) for raffle tickets. Themed gift baskets were handed out to the winners of the raffle.
“Every retirement community has its own culture and takes on its own personality and interests of the people who live there,” said Schworer. “To have a good retirement community, you want to make sure that you understand what they want, and you work in concert with the residents to support their wants and needs. If your residents are supportive of your community, you can do anything.”