Thursday, June 20, 2013

Central Missouri's BIG event!

One event nets $109,287.42! Here’s how…

On April 12, 2013 the Central Missouri Dream Factory Chapter hosted the 5th annual charity poker tournament in Columbia. For the first time ever, the event sold out, welcoming more than 230 poker players from the local community to a packed venue for a night of Western themed fundraising. Participants were able to choose from three levels of registration: (1) High Roller buy-in  - $150 (2) Regular player buy-in - $75 (3) Non-player fee - $50.
After all the participants had time to enjoy some of the catered food and grab a few drinks, the night was kicked off with an hour of tournament play. Throughout the first hour, rewards were given to the players with the first full house, straight, etc. These prizes included gift certificates to local restaurants, bars, salons, and entertainment centers. Our event sponsors were introduced by Dream Factory volunteers, emphasizing the presence of Veteran’s United for their incredible donations to the Central Missouri Chapter. Veteran’s United has donated $10,000 per year while acting as the presenting sponsor each year since the charity event first began in 2009.
The live auction, which brought in roughly $30,000 throughout the night, began after the first hour of play and was split into two sets of five items each. Some items of the auction have become so popular over the last few years that they are considered trademarks of the event and are highly anticipated by all who attend. For example, a painting done by Madeline Horrell, a dream child of Central Missouri, sold for over $3,000 at this year’s event and has been just as popular in the past! Madeline has been using art therapy as a method of rehabilitation following the removal of numerous brain tumors; a story she shared with our audience. The live auction is concluded with an event favorite, the paddle raise “Build-A-Dream” item, encouraging those in attendance to contribute to a portion of a dream by donating $1,000, $500, $250, or $100.
As the night progressed, participants begin losing their pots and the pool of players grew smaller and smaller. This year, the final table of the poker tournament concluded around two o’clock in the morning and the winner was awarded his hefty trophy.  By the end of the night when all donations had been tallied and expenses deducted, the Central Missouri chapter of the Dream Factory had raised a total of  $109,287.42. With so much funds raised, the chapter will be able to support 25 kids and their families for a dream!
None of the success from Central Missouri’s charity poker night would have been possible without the hard work of the volunteers who organized the event as well as the strong support from their local community.  In January 2013, Dream Factory volunteers Tim Bach, Erin Heath, and Paula Stuebben resumed their weekly meetings with six employees of some of the events most involved donors: Veteran’s United, Landmark Bank, and the AddSheet. The same group has worked together for the last few years to plan and improve the poker tournament each year and in years to come. January marks the beginning of the four months of planning required to organize such an exciting and elaborate event. After allowing themselves one night of food and celebration, the team of volunteers is already back to work planning to make a 2014 tournament which will be even more successful than 2013!

Submitted by:
The Central Missouri Dream Factory

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