At the upcoming Casino for a Cause event benefiting the Resource and Crisis Center of Galveston County, guests are going to feel lucky even before they head for their favorite game.

The evening begins with a Caribbean buffet designed to make everyone feel fortunate to be there.

“This is our fourth year to hold Casino for a Cause, always in the summer, and we’ve learned to keep it tropical and island casual,” said Debbie Williams, vice president of the RCC board.

The event committee worked with The Tremont House Executive Chef Michael Jacobson to develop a menu that had a taste of the tropics in every bite.

Jacobson devised a signature drink for Casino for a Cause so that as soon as guests arrive at the Davidson Ballroom, they’ll take in the tropical atmosphere in the form of a cool hibiscus tea-infused cocktail.

“Hibiscus iced tea is great in the summertime,” Jacobson said. “It’s so refreshing.”

The rest of the menu also features tropical flavors on a buffet that includes Jamaican jerk chicken, mahi mahi with mango salsa and Caribbean rice and beans.

“I think my favorite thing on the menu is the cilantro green goddess salad dressing,” RCC director of fund development Samantha Coats said. “It’s phenomenal.”

Chef Jacobson tweaked the dressing to accompany a salad of greens, fresh fruit and edible flowers.

“It’s a Tex-Mex play on a classic dressing,” he said.

The Tremont House’s Davidson Ballroom is a new venue for Casino for a Cause. The events committee is making sure that the evening will maintain its popular balance of laid-back island vibes and casino excitement.

“We’ll have complimentary valet parking so no one will have to worry about finding parking downtown; and we’re also adding more slot machines, because people really love to play,” Coats said.

Winnings from the games, which will include roulette, blackjack and poker, will buy chances to win a wide assortment of donated prizes, including a stay at the Y.O. Ranch.

All the proceeds from the dinner and casino benefit the programs of the Resource and Crisis Center, including those for survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault or child abuse.

“During the summer months, we see a spike in our incidents, especially sexual assaults, so there is really a great need for community support of all kinds right now,” Coats said. “We need more volunteers as well as more funding.”

Coats said there is still a need for volunteer advocates in the Court Appointed Special Advocates program.

“Galveston County has a large number of children in foster care, and we don’t have enough volunteers to give each one an advocate to serve as their voice in the judicial system,” she said.

Volunteers also are needed to help victims of sexual assault.

“A big part of what we do is meet the victims as soon as they come to UTMB after an assault. We try to make sure they have the resources, including legal and therapeutic, to help them heal,” she said.

At a glance

WHAT: Casino for a Cause

WHO: Crisis Center of Galveston County

WHEN: July 27

WHERE: Davidson Ballroom of The Tremont House, 2300 Ave. C, in Galveston

TICKETS: Call Samantha Coats, 409-443-0523 or email

At a glance

WHAT: Casino for a Cause

WHO: Crisis Center of Galveston County

WHEN: July 27

WHERE: Davidson Ballroom of The Tremont House, 2300 Ave. C, in Galveston

TICKETS: Call Samantha Coats, 409-443-0523 or email

Jerk Seasoning Mix

  • 4 to 6 scotch bonnet peppers, de-seeded and deveined
  • 2 tablespoons ground allspice
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 stalks scallion
  • 2 tablespoons ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Vinegar
  • Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor.

Add enough vinegar to make a paste that you can spread easily.

Use the mix on chicken, pork or fish before grilling. Keep the leftover mix in the fridge.

(Recipe from “Jamaica, No Problem,” by Chris Aguilar)

Mexican Green Goddess Dressing

MAKES: 1 1⁄4 cups

  • 1⁄4 cup mayonnaise or vegan mayonnaise
  • 1⁄4 cup cilantro
  • 2 scallions, chopped — green and white parts
  • 1⁄4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1⁄2 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender until smooth.

(Recipe from “It’s All Good,” by Gwyneth Paltrow)

Hibiscus Cooler

  • 4 hibiscus tea bags
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups cold water
  • Ice cubes, for serving
  • Mint sprigs

In a large heatproof pitcher, combine tea bags, mint leaves and boiling water; steep for 10 minutes.

Discard the tea bags and mint. Add the apple juice and cold water; refrigerate until cold.

Serve over ice with sprigs of mint.

(Recipe from “Martha’s Entertaining:
A Year of Celebrations,” by Martha Stewart)


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