First round semi-finalists selected in Horseshoe Casnio's Then and Now contest

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Cleveland, Ohio – Clevelanders near and far have joined Horseshoe Casino Cleveland’s celebration of the city’s past, present and future, submitting pictures and memories of the city they love as a part of the ‘Then and Now’ promotion. While the contest runs until May 16, three semi-finalists were chosen at the halfway mark and will have a chance to win a share of $10,000 in prizes on May 24.
 
Their stories are representative of the many received, showing a sense of pride in Cleveland, the excitement and energy of downtown and the promise of a bright future. Below is a sample from one of the finalists.

  • Ashraf from Fairview Park: Friend in army home from Afghanistan

My good friend Kyle came home from Afghanistan and the first thing he wanted to do is go to the ballpark, so him his wife and a few other friends and I went down to the Prog and enjoyed a beautiful Sunday watching the Tribe play the Twins. I almost caught a foul ball. I had a drink in one hand and reached out with my left hand; it bounced right off my fingers. All my friends called me butter fingers for the whole day. The Tribe lost that game but we were winners. My friend Kyle wasn't around for the opening of the Horseshoe, so we all walked over there after the game. His wife wanted to play roulette. So after a while she was playing red 3 and it hit on the third spin; she walked out winning $600. Great night for a great friend returning home.
 
His story and many others like it weave together to create the larger narrative about downtown Cleveland. While there has been tremendous investment and development downtown, Clevelanders will give the city the vibrant spirit that will carry it forward.
 
Famous Clevelanders Join the Conversation
 
A few hometown celebrities have joined in the fun by sharing their memories of the city they love.
 

  • Actress Monica Potter, Euclid native and currently stars in Parenthood on NBC:

“My memories of Higbee's still linger in my mind;
Hanging out with Mr. Jing-a-ling, the elves sometimes unkind…
Nowadays, when in town I gamble with my gals
pulling slots, laughing loud, and making brand new pals.
There is no place like Cleveland, so much to do, when in town we hardly rest;
The community is awesome, my hometown is truly the best!

  • Chef Rocco Whalen, owner of Fahrenheit and Rosie & Rocco’s, Cleveland born-and-raised: “As long as I can remember, my father and brother always taught me to love Cleveland as a city, for the people, the culture and especially the sports teams.”
  • Chef Michael Symon, Iron Chef and native Clevelander: "When I was young my grandmother worked at Higbees, often on weekends I would stay with my grandparents and my grandfather and I would head Downtown to pick her up from work. We would start the day shopping at the market for dinner and then go to Silver Grille for lunch before picking up my Grandma and then we'd head home for a big dinner. The energy that Downtown had during my childhood is really starting to return. Whether it is the electricity of E. 4th. Street or our amazing orchestra or the return of the Cleveland ballet, I really think Cleveland is having a return to its glory days."

Then and Now
 
‘Then and Now’ runs through Horseshoe’s second anniversary in May and urges Clevelanders to share personal memories and photos of downtown Cleveland, past and present. Participation is free; story and photo submissions will be accepted until 5 p.m. on May 16 at www.horseshoecleveland.com/thenandnow. All entrants (adults age 21 and over) will be entered to win a share of $10,000 in prizes from Horseshoe Cleveland.
 
Three additional semi-finalists will be announced on May 16. The six semi-finalists will be entered in the grand prize drawing, which will take place at Horseshoe’s second anniversary party on May 24. Semi-finalists do not need to be present to win on May 24. See a complete set of promotion rules at www.horseshoecleveland.com/thenandnow.

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