The Coast News Group
The Boys & Girls Club of Vista’s Project FUN Healthy Lifestyles Cooking Class attended by (front row) Heron Resendiz, Damian Sanchez, Joshlyn Serrano, (back row) Lianna Solario, Samantha Corral, Lindsay Domingues, Madaline Ney, Isaiah White and Kylia Haupu. Photo by Denise Ramirez

Calling all Texas hold ’em poker players for Boys & Girls Club fundraiser

VISTA — On Feb. 10, the Boys & Girls Club of Vista will transform into a Texas Hold ’em Poker tournament. This is a 21-and-over debut event with the objective to raise more money for the organization and its programs for children ages 5 to 18.

The tournament will help fund programs such as Youth of the Year, music lessons, character development classes, Project FUN Healthy Lifestyles Cooking Class, competitive sports and more.

“Whenever school is closed, the club is open on weekdays,” Director of Development Ellen Clark said. “About a third of our kids are actually considered in extremely impacted socioeconomic situations with a family income of under $25,000 and two-thirds of our kids qualify for free and reduced-cost lunch.”

As a result, Clark said they only charge $50 a year for club membership.

However, the total cost to offer after school care every day, and care during school breaks has a price tag of $577 per child. It’s an event like Texas Hold ‘em Tournament which helps bridge this gap.

“We really look to the community to help to support the kids in this way, and these are kids that many of whom would be home alone if we weren’t available,” she said.   

Clark wants potential guests to know that a professional gaming company will be running the tournament. And yes, there will be opportunities for player re-buys and prizes for the winners, she said.

“The evening should be lots of fun,” Clark said, noting the response has been great so far.

Clark explained this fundraiser is unique for the club as it is more casual than other events that it usually does, such as galas.

Chairing this debut poker event is Danny Pencak. The title sponsor is Destinations in Paradise, and silver sponsors are North County Ford and the Chaffin Family. Food and beverage sponsors are Charity Bracy and Pizza Port.

Clark said that more sponsorship opportunities are still available.   

It was also essential to have the tournament held at the Boys & Girls Club as a way to bring the community to the club, she said.

“It helps show guests where we are and to really not only have a great time for a great cause but to understand a little bit more who we are serving and where we are located,” Clark said.

As far as the tournament is concerned, there will be a winners’ table and $5,000 in prizes will be awarded that evening for those who place in first, second and third.

Clark said the event can accommodate about 100 players. Those not interested in playing, but still wanting to support the club, can attend the dinner for $35 and watch the tournament.

Those interested in the tournament or attending the dinner can visit or contact Clark at [email protected].   

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