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Argo Casino Night nets about $20,000

Argo High School’s recent Casino Night was termed a great success at this week’s school board meeting.

Organizer Stacey Zaccardi said, “We collected $2,200 in ticket sales at the door. That includes raffle tickets purchased. We sold $18,000 in table sponsorships this year. Our total intake was about $26,627.

“Chicago Casino Suppliers cost us just under $6,000. That was with the addition of two blackjack tables we didn’t have last year. An amazing display of props if you were in the room. The Gatsby theme was really impressive.

“For food, the new Toyota Park food venue (Spectra) honored the quote from Sodexho. There were a lot of complaints about increased costs in the bar. We had the venue for free, so no complaints from me.

“We were about $20,000 in profit. That doesn’t include when we invoice teachers for their scholarships. There should be at least another $2,000.

“Over 100 teachers donated to the event. That’s more than 80 percent of the staff. Their efforts, by my calculations, more than paid for the event. Almost every department in the building purchased a table.

“We had representatives from Justice, Bedford Park, Bridgeview and Summit. We got a hospitality sponsorship from Lyons Township, which was unexpected and incredibly appreciated,” she said.

The Casino Night helps fund student scholarships, Zaccardi said.

“We changed scholarships. We diversified how we are allowing kids to apply. It used to be only the top third of the population. We were giving about 15. We’ve reduced the long-term obligation and are only giving four renewable scholarships and 10 $1,000 one-time scholarships.

“We opened a new pool for 2.5 GPA. Those students can apply if they’re going to Moraine Valley or a trade school, any post-secondary education. Just under 50 percent of applicants will get something from us,” she said.

In other action, the school board approved two major replacement bids Monday night. Boilers and a pool filtration system will be replaced.

“The boilers are at the end of their life span,” officials said. “One of them was tagged out by the Fire Marshal. We are down to two. A couple of weeks after he tagged that one out, the number one boiler started leaking. We are able to use it. One of the boilers tested positive for asbestos. We will have to go through an abatement process.

“We received six bids. The lowest came in under budget. We are going to be working with the gas company for additional grants.”

Regan Heating, of Justice, was awarded the bid.

As for the pool equipment, officials said, “That pool is heavily used. We received two bids. That also came in under budget.”

Mechanical Inc., of Freeport, was the low bidder.

The board approved the purchase of a Sentinel Informacast Security mass notification system.

Supt. Jill Kingsfield elaborated, “This is the emergency, lock-down system. We will be able to use an app from our phone to put the building into a lock-down. It gives us the ability to monitor it via cell phone. It sends texts automatically to staff. They can text us back saying they are safe inside, safe outside or need help immediately. We would push assistance to them through local police.”

Strobe lights would also be included to alert outdoor physical education classes or loud indoor areas as to the emergency, she said.

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