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Bradenton Gladiators bring Las Vegas to town with casino night

The Bradenton Gladiators transported a piece of Las Vegas to town last Saturday night when they held a casino night at the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium.

A tempting dinner buffet, courtesy of Demetrio’s, Lee Roy Selmon’s, Premiere Catering and the Gladiators, with desserts from Mr. Cheesecake, kept appetites satisfied.

The dinner tables did not stay full for long, though.

Showgirls dressed in sequins and feathers enticed guests to spend their chips, and the gaming tables stayed full.

The high rollers could enter the Texas Hold’em tournament, and a silent auction was held for those who preferred a sure bet.

Edrick Sweeting, president of the nonprofit Bradenton Gladiators Football, Inc., explained that the organization provides sports and mentoring programs for at-risk youth.

Several of the Gladiators minor league football coaches were among the guests, including head coach Ernest Givins who brought a little star power to the party.

Givins is a former NFL player and went to the Pro Bowl twice while he was with the Houston Oilers. Special teams coach Charlie Lee and his wife, Ann, were also in the crowd.

Other guests included secretary-treasurer Patricia Johnson, Denis and Cindy Peters, Evelyn Chaltis and her granddaughter, Angela.

Susan Wilcox, a Florida native, has lived in Bradenton for more than 20 years. She has been active in many local organizations as a volunteer or an employee.