Kids Central Helps Children In Need

Guests were agents of change for children in need at Kids Central’s Casino Royale evening. With a vintage Vegas theme, the Hilton Ocala was the setting for this fourth annual fundraiser. This year, the event included a 1980s throwback theme featuring the greatest hits of Madonna.

Guests first relaxed with a complimentary cocktail hour as well as sampling an impressive hors d’oeuvres buffet. The action-packed games were by Casino Party Planners. Guests played the games all in the name of the great cause of abused and neglected children. Casino Royale would not have been such a success without its presenting event sponsor Shay Coach who was in partnership with event sponsor LifeStream. The list of local sponsoring businesses is lengthy.

It was an evening jam-packed with fun. Upon arrival, attendees received a voucher for gaming tokens. They then took their vouchers to any gaming station and a casino representative changed the vouchers into gaming tokens. Guests spent lively hours with their tokens and could always buy more. At the end of the evening, tokens were changed into raffle tickets and wonderful prizes were drawn.

Jessica Gilbert, director of community affairs for Kids Central said, “Casino Royale is an exciting evening. However, it is important to remember that we do this for the kids, and without our sponsors, it would not be possible. Our dedicated supporters allow us to give children and families what they need, which isn’t covered by any other funding.” Over $20,000 was raised in just this one evening.

Kids Central provides brighter futures for children not only in Marion County but also Citrus, Hernando, Lake and Sumter Counties. The agency develops and manages a comprehensive community-based system of care for abused, neglected and abandoned children and their families. Kids Central is committed to promoting the welfare of expectant mothers, babies, children, families and young adults through prevention services, in-home care, foster care and adoption. Kids Central is changing the community for the better, one life at a time. 

With unrestricted funds like those raised from Casino Royale, Kids Central can provide families like Tasha Anderson’s services to get back on their feet again. Kids Central has helped Tasha begin the steps to reunification with her four children through one of its local child abuse prevention programs, such as the Ocala Family Resource Center, which helps families who are struggling. Through the assistance of Kids Central’s Ocala Family Resource Center, Tasha has fully furnished her new home with appropriate beds for her children and a donated washer and dryer from a Kids Central staff member. Tasha is employed, but with the help of Kids Central community facilitator Melissa Casto, Tasha has made provisions to return to school so she will find a better job and enhance her self-sufficiency.

Kids Central is more than a child welfare agency. It is a beacon of hope. Kids Central turns vision into action. To be an agent of change and make a difference in the lives of children, visit

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