New Orleans Casino Night Fundraiser benefiting MERIT!

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford's 3rd Annual Casino Night Fundraiser, New Orleans-style!

Every ten seconds, a report of child abuse is made in the United States.[1]   Nearly 110,000 reports were made in Illinois in 2015. Of those cases, 4,559 were children in Winnebago County. We have the third highest number of reports in the state with an average of twelve cases reported here each day.[2] Less than 25 percent receive an expert and timely medical evaluation.

To address this very unfortunate reality, the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford, in collaboration with the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and Carrie Lynn Children’s Center, created MERIT in 2008 to provide children suspected of physical abuse, sexual abuse or neglect with timely expert medical evaluations and treatment. In addition, MERIT serves the community as a resource for prevention, research and education. The program serves over 300 children under the age of 18 each year, from Winnebago and 13 other counties in Northern Illinois.

We're thrilled to announce that the Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team (MERIT) will be the 2017 beneficiary for our New Orleans Casino Fundraiser! This year’s event features a variety of gaming tables, great music by The Basin Street Boys, and New Orleans-themed food stations for your enjoyment.  In addition, we have an incredible silent auction with many unique expieriences and items for bid!

Sponsored in part by:

Thank you in advance for supporting our event!  For additional questions, please contact Laura Knight, director of development, at 815.395.5921 or [email protected]Can't attend but would like to support MERIT?  Make a gift to the MERIT program fund  today at

All casino games are played with "play money" - you can't win, but you can't lose either! A portion of each ticket price may be tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law and will be receipted by the University of Illinois Foundation.  We estimate the tax-deductible portion of each ticket to be approximately $52.63.


[2] Illinois Department of Children & Family Services’ report on Child Abuse and Neglect Statistics, Fiscal Year 2015