Money. Power. Women. Only a keen eye could distinguish SackVegas from the city of its namesake. The annual SackVegas gala kicked off without a hitch on Saturday night, as patrons were treated to an evening of risk and perhaps incredible reward. I chose to roll the dice.

Arriving at the event, I could tell that no expense had been spared. Held in the Wallace McCain Student Centre, the posh nightlife destination was brimming with activity. Judging by the parked rusty bicycles and empty cans of Coors Banquet, I knew that there were high-profile guests in attendance. Impatient members of the Mount Allison Students’ Union buzzed in anticipation of the evening to come.

“People have been talking about this all week. I’m eager to see what all the fuss is about!” said an excited young patron behind me in the lineup.

Stepping into the student centre, I could feel the feverish excitement that clung to the low-hanging ceilings like sticky humidity. Festivities got underway with a spirited cocktail menu, as an expert team of mixologists served up Radlers, Fuzzy Peach shots and $3.50 Budweisers. I nursed simple gin and tonics throughout the evening, each garnished with a rind of a browned lime.

After a few unfruitful rounds at the poker table, I decided to mingle with the Union’s elite. SackVegas is always a magnet for the who’s-who of this bustling metropolis, and Saturday night was no exception. Looking around the room, I spotted some familiar faces. The Union’s president exchanged greetings and shook hands awkwardly with guests. Varsity athletes stood like stoic statues along the far wall near the women’s restroom, unmoving and stern in their demeanor. A troupe of Adonis’ incarnate, their chiseled physiques looked dramatic against the vinyl mural of their athlete predecessors behind them. Other patrons chose simply to mill about and take in the spectacle of it all.

The focal point of the evening, however, was the dance floor. What can only be described as a sweaty and writhing mass, the crowd that filled a cleared Gracie’s became a moving testament to youthfulness and the spirit of Las Vegas. Like slot machines, dance partners glided between one another, engaging in only fleeting encounters before moving onto the next. During a particularly moving moment, the crowd cheered at the DJ’s choice of Desiigner’s smash hit “Panda,” but did not quite know how to dance to it.

Similar to years past, the fashion choices of the glittering crowd did not fail to impress. Slightly oversized blazers and dress shirts dominated the evenings menswear. One member wowed the gala with his unusual adornment of avant-garde fashion label Broken Bridge Clothing: he broke away from the night’s semi-formal attire by loudly wearing a fitted baseball t-shirt bearing the brand’s signature label.

Like the great city in the desert, SackVegas was a jewel. A glamorous opportunity to start anew and embrace a new year of goals — and all for a good cause! The glitzy event was one I wish would never ended. What happens at SackVegas stays (or hopefully won’t) at SackVegas!

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