Fun for a Cause

Glizty Vegas-style sign reading "Welcome to the Fabulous Torero Casino Night.


Vegas glitz comes to Alcalá Park this fall during the second annual Fabulous Torero Casino Night, which takes place on Oct. 4 during Homecoming and Family Weekend. Proceeds directly support student scholarships through the Parent Partnership Fund, which provides aid to students who are experiencing financial hardship and are at risk of not completing their education at USD.

“The evening is lots of fun, but it’s definitely fun for a cause,” says Director of Parent and Family Relations Renda Quinn ’86 (BBA). “The Parent Partnership Fund is dedicated to benefiting students in need. We are determined to help them be successful in earning a degree from USD.”

One student who benefitted from the fund is Chloe Zakhour ’20, whose father suddenly passed away in 2018.

“He was pretty much the sole provider for our family,” she says. “I called USD financial aid a few days after he passed to see if there was anything they could do for me. They told me about the Parent Partnership Scholarship. It was the only way I could stay at USD and I’m so thankful for their heartwarming generosity.”

Last year’s inaugural event, created and supported by the USD Parent Board, raised more than $47,000 to benefit student scholarships and is the main fundraiser for the Parent Partnership Fund.

The evening itself is engaging and interactive, featuring a full evening of entertainment, food and camaraderie. The event will take place on Eagan Plaza, outside the Jenny Craig Pavilion. Traditional casino-style games will include blackjack, craps and roulette, along with a photo booth, mystery boxes, a silent auction, music and a plethora of enticing opportunities to win fabulous prizes, including a Golden Experience raffle featuring top-notch San Francisco sports and entertainment. “It’s a spirited and memorable evening,” says Quinn. “And what makes it better is we know it’s benefitting such a good cause, our students in need.”

As part of their entry fee, everyone receives a number of gaming chips, which can ultimately be redeemed for drawing tickets for fabulous prizes. In addition to the raffle and a silent auction — which includes opportunities to bid on dinner with a dean, lunch with the president and a reserved campus parking space — attendees can purchase a Mystery Box (valued at $50 or more) or an item from the Kendra Scott jewelry station (valued from $50 to $400), both of which guarantee that everyone who partakes will emerge a winner. All-you-can-eat food stations are also included.

But in the end, it’s about benefitting students through the Parent Partnership Fund, especially the university’s at-risk students, which include those who were once in the foster-care system and are homeless or at risk of being homeless.

“The Parent Board is a group of parents making a difference in the lives of students,” says Quinn. “Like our students, these parents are Changemakers, and with this fund we help students experiencing hardship to succeed and graduate from USD. Addressing unexpected circumstances — such as housing and food insecurity, as well as meeting basic educational needs — is what the Parent Partnership Fund is all about.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the door. The event is open to the campus community, including parents, alumni and students. — Julene Snyder

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