Star-Studded Poker Tournament Raises Over $700,000
By Miami Community Newspapers
After-School All-Stars, South Florida, a local chapter of the national organization, serving middle school youth, hosted its fourth annual charity poker tournament, All-In for All-Stars, on Sunday, January 21, 2018, at Nobu Miami. The event raised over a record $700,000 for the charity, which provides comprehensive, after-school programs for 2,000 low-income youth in the most underserved neighborhoods in South Florida and over 70,000 youth nationwide. Twenty full student scholarships were funded in less than seven minutes in a lightening round appeal.
Philanthropists, celebrities and pro-athletes, including former NBA players Shane Battier, Ray Allen, Alonzo Mourning and Eddie Jones, former MLB player Charles “CJ” Johnson, and former NFL players Nat Moore, Dwight Stephenson, Brad Pyatt and O.J. McDuffie, gathered to raise the stakes and give back, all while vying to win one of Westime Brickell City Centre’s luxury time pieces in a charity poker tournament, hosted by Wayne Boich, Mark Groussman, Sean Posner and Michael Simkins. Acclaimed artist, Joe Everson, kicked off the event by singing the national anthem and simultaneously painting an image of the Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima.
A VIP reception kicked off the event with handcrafted cocktails sponsored by Bacardi. Guests enjoyed Nobu’s sushi and Asian-fusion delicacies and relaxed outdoors in the JetSmarter All Star lounge.
Throughout the event, guests cheered on the New England Patriots and Jacksonville Jaguars in the Championship Playoff game, which was broadcasted on multiple large, high-definition TV screens. A graduate of the ASAS program, Ti’Andre Bellinger captivated the crowd as he spoke about how the program doesn’t just change lives, it saves lives, just like it did for him.
Bellinger also received a football signed by the athletes and celebrities at the event. Upon departure, players received an exclusive swag bag featuring luxury items from the sponsors.
Since its inception four years ago, the annual All-In for All-Stars poker event has raised over $2.2 million, enabling the charity to fulfill their mission of helping students succeed in school and life.
Sponsors who contributed to the success of the event and the fulfilment of the charity’s mission include: Westime Brickell, Nobu Miami, JetSmarter, Hard Rock Hotel-Hollywood, Miami Heat, Miami Marlins, Miami Dolphins, Bacardi, Joe Everson, National Geographic Fine Art Galleries, Haute Living, XM Cigars, The Scout Guide Miami, Flex Wheels and FOX Sports Florida.