In August, the ARA of Colorado was planning a poker tournament at Tiresocks in Centennial, Colo., as a fundraiser for those in need around the country. In September, many communities in northern Colorado saw massive flooding that cut off entire towns and displaced thousands of residents. The ARA of Colorado, with the help of the ARA Foundation, immediately donated $5,000 to the Red Cross for flood relief. The fundraiser went on as planned on Nov. 6, but it had a more focused target. The ARA of Colorado board voted to donate the funds raised from the event to the ARA Foundation as a way to pay it forward for future communities that need assistance.
The Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament drew about 40 people with a mix of general and associate members. In addition to a suggested donation of $25 per person to play, the board organized a raffle in order to raise additional funds.
“Since this was a first-time event, we really didn’t know how it would go. This was great attendance for us, especially with several people making the trip from the western slope,” says Stephanie Gunther, sales manager for Texas-based ReachMaster, and an ARA of Colorado board member. “In addition, we used it as a kick-off for our state association associate member program and we were able to get several associate members signed up for that.”
Associate members donated more than $5,000 in prizes and sponsorships, allowing the association to use the bulk of the money brought in as a donation. Tiresocks was particularly instrumental in getting the tournament organized, inviting participants and donating prizes.
“This was a great way to show our appreciation for all the ARA Foundation did to help the flood victims in Colorado. We are hoping that this event will be an example of how state associations can do something to help those who may be in need,” Gunther says. “The tournament was a great addition to our regular calendar member meetings and social events, and we hope to do something similar in the future.”