Casino Night benefits local childcare center, parenting programs |

Casino Night benefits local childcare center, parenting programs

Frances Hohl/For Steamboat Today
The Family Development Center will host its annual Casino Night fundraiser Saturday night at The Steamboat Grand.

If you go:

What: Casino Night and Silent Auction fundraiser

When: 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 11

Where: The Steamboat Grand ballroom, 2300 Mount Werner Circle

Tickets: $25 in advance; $30 at the door

Silent Auction items include:


Lake Catamount golf for four


Skincare products



Orvis flyfishing bag


Big Agnes sleeping bag

Point 6 socks

Gift baskets

Gift certificates

And a whole lot more!

— When small business owner Torey Wodnik was pregnant with her first child, daycare wasn’t really on her mind. Fortunately, the nonprofit Family Development Center provides information to parents who may not even realize they need it, free of charge.

“I depended on them a lot when I was a young mother,” Wodnik explained. “I used it all. Especially when it comes to childcare. People don’t even know the questions let alone the answers. Before my son was even born, they gave me guidance on all available childcare options.”

The Family Development Center is hosting its annual fundraiser Saturday with a Casino Night and Silent Auction. While the Family Center is housed in the Discovery Learning Center, mostly known for its preschool, many people don’t realize that its services cover the Child Care Network and the Newborn Network for parents across the county.

“It is super instrumental in locating childcare services,” says another professional mom, Shannon Ford, who used the Child Care Network to find infant childcare when her now 9-year-old was born.

“We didn’t realize the infant-care problem, and it is still an issue today,” said Ford, who now sits on the board of the Discovery Learning Center.

The Child Care Network also helps daycare centers and home daycares throughout Routt County.

“They work with providers to help them make sure they can get their licenses and stay up to date. They also guide parents on different ways to get scholarships,” said Colleen Miller, Family Development Center administrative director. “If you have a child and you’re looking for childcare, you start there with the Child Care Network.”

Another incredible service provided by the Family Center is the Newborn Network that works with families from prenatal to 3 years old.

“We have weekly groups that meet from North Routt to Hayden to Steamboat to South Routt,” Miller explained.

Miller said the support groups offer guest speakers that give out advice on everything from estate planning, college funds, to brain development talks by psychologists.

“It’s open to everyone. Doesn’t matter where you live, your income … this organization is here to help everyone,” said Miller.

Both Wodnik and Ford said they also used the Newborn Network and its “Parent as Teachers” service.

“They come to your home for an hour, once a month, and give you amazing age-appropriate activities,” Wodnik said.

Ford also points out the parenting hotline, aka the “Warmline,” is great when you don’t want to call your pediatrician with parenting questions. And the Family Center, located at Walton and Village Drives, has a parenting library as well.

Thanks to the Discovery Learning Center preschool and the volunteer efforts of its parents, the Casino Night Fundraiser has become an important part of financing the Child Care Network and the Newborn Network.

Discovery also benefits from the fundraiser with money going to scholarships, teacher education and play equipment.

The Casino Night is being held from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 11 at the Steamboat Grand Ballroom. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at All That, Christy Sports in Central Park Plaza and through Discovery Learning Center parents. Tickets at the door are $30.

Partygoers get $300 worth of play gambling chips and dessert. There’ll be a cash bar. And, there’s still time to donate. Call Colleen Miller at 970-879-5973, ext. 10, for information.

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