Calder Casino night: Slots, bingo and Blues Brothers

The third annual Calder casino night benefiting Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood drew about 500 patrons, who participated in bingo, a slot tournament, dining and dancing.

The fundraiser, hosted by Miami Marlins broadcaster Jeff Conine, raised $80,000 to underwrite expenses at the Conine Clubhouse, a hotel-like facility that provides free lodging to families for as long as a child is hospitalized.

The casino night (one of few such charity events held in a South Florida casino, rather than in a ballroom or alternate venue) is one of three annual events Conine hosts each year. The two others are a poker tournament at the Isle Casino in Pompano Beach and an annual golf tournament.

Called “A Night of Soul, Slots, and Spirits,” the slot tournament featured a trip to Las Vegas as its first prize. The Blues Brothers Soul Band performed.

Established in 1994, the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation ( raises  funds to assist patients, families, and underwrite the costs of programs, facilities and equipment at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

Now that I write that sentence, I realize time has passed to the point that so many people barely recognize the name, or maybe think he was some kind of doctor.

I grew up a Yankee fan in Southern Illinois (don’t ask), so I could spit out to you the Hall of Fame stats, including, interestingly, that when he retired in 1951 his 361 home runs were fifth all-time; 361 homers hit in this era likely doesn’t get you into the Hall of Fame.

He died here in South Florida in 1999 (I met him once) and I’d think that if he could see a big ol’ hospital that he started would make him pretty darned happy.

Twitter: @NickSortal