“This fundraiser attracts a different group of people from any of the other ones that we have,” said Patty Eagar, executive director for Advocates for Children. “We try to have each one of our fundraisers geared toward one demographic or another. Some of the people who are runners are not usually the people who play poker and they’re not the people who [attend] ‘Every Child’s a Star.’ So we like to have a nice variety of things to attract as many different people as we can because we have to raise a great deal of money in order to continue to offer all the services that we have for 2,600 kids a year.
“[The need] is now more than ever. We’ve actually been fuller than ever before in my recollection here at Flowering Branch [Children’s Shelter]. We almost always have a room or two open for an emergency and for the last two [to] three weeks, we have not had any empty space or when we have had empty space we filled up immediately. Unfortunately, the world is not doing a very good job of preventing child abuse. But we’re here to try to fight it with our programs that we have in place.”
Last year, the tournament raised about $10,000 for Advocates for Children, which serves area youth each year through the Flowering Branch Children’s Shelter and other programs that assist in the awareness, prevention and treatment of child abuse.
Since about 55 percent of Advocates’ annual $1.6 million budget is raised by the local community, benefits like the Texas Hold ’em tournament are integral to the nonprofit's success.
On Saturday, registration for the tournament starts at 12:30 p.m., with dealing following at 1 p.m. The cost to participate is $100 per player, which covers playing chips, snacks, dinner, adult beverages, raffle entry and a goodie bag. Prizes range from cash rewards of $1,000 and $500 to an overnight stay at Barnsley Gardens Resort.
“It’s a smaller fundraiser for us,” said Kayleigh Ladshaw, development assistant for Advocates. “It is something different. A lot of our other fundraisers are a little more family-oriented. This one’s a little more adult. So we have drinks for everyone and we have a nice dinner planned. It’s a good time to sit down with your buddies and play a game of cards.
“We raised a little over $10,000 last year and our goal is, of course, to beat that. So anything above [$10,000] would be just wonderful. It goes toward all of our programs. So it’s not a particular program, but it’s just to keep all of our programs up and running and doing well so we can continue to serve over 2,600 kids every year.”
Even though registration will be available at the event, players are encouraged to sign up prior to the benefit at www.AdvoChild.org, 770-387-1143 or Kayleigh@AdvoChild.org.