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Chilean Miners Visit Florida Casino

10 February 2011 by admin

Your typical celebrity appearances at casinos are made up of actors, musicians and politicians. Then there are the casinos’ favorite visitors—the pros. But this week in Florida thirteen of the thirty three Chilean miners are visiting the Coconut Creek Seminole Casino. They are in town to take part in a charity event tomorrow, Friday, February 11th.

It was only this past November that the world watched as all thirty three of the Chilean miners were brought back to the surface after spending sixty nine days trapped in the darkness of a collapsed gold and copper mind two thousand feet underground. To the world it was an astounding miracle, and the miners began instant celebrities with invitations to visit all corners of the globe. Now thirty three men who never thought to see beyond their country are traveling to all sorts of places, including the United States. “Never in my life did I imagine being able to come to the United States. Everything here is so beautiful. The palm trees. The warm weather. Even how well maintained the streets are. But what I enjoy most is the caring nature of everyone we have encounter here,” said Dario Segovia, one of the miners.

This week sees thirteen of the miners in Florida. A few of the miners brought their families with them and were able to spend an all expenses paid day at Walt Disney World in Orlando. From there all thirteen miners and the family members who had made the journey to the States traveled to South Florida for the Tribute to Heroes and Miracles.

The Tribute to Heroes and Miracles will honor the Chilean miners along with two school board officials from Bay County who put themselves at risk during a board meeting to stop a gunman. The Tribute is also going to be a fundraising event to raise money for the United Mine Workers of America, the American Cancer Society and the Disabled American Veterans.

But until Friday the miners have been enjoying some time on the floor of the Coconut Creek Seminole Casino playing blackjack and spinning the reels on some of the more than fifteen hundred slot machines offered at the Seminole casino.

The Chilean miners are not the normal sort of celebrities that might be found in a casino; they are the sort that everyone wants to meet and to exclaim over the miracle of their rescue, wanting to know their stories. Mario Sepulveda, another of the Chilean miners, said, “People are always asking us how our lives have changed. We are still the same people, but this experience has made it possible for us to feel the warmth of stranger from all over. It deeply touches you, and makes you realize that humanity is all connected. We do not always understand what people are telling us, but we can tell by the warmth in their expression and their smiles that they are receiving us well.”

It is commendable of the Seminoles to not only wish to honor the Chilean miners, but to reach out to the Chilean miners and to bring them to Florida. It seem like only a little blackjack to some but for these miners it is a wonderful gesture.

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