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Texas Hold 'Em & Casino Night: Having Fun While Giving Back

There are many different ways to raise money, but at St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters, we like to put the “fun” back in fundraising. You may know about our high-profile annual events – such as the Doodle for Hunger and our popular Theatre Event – but some of our smaller-scale happenings allow us to reach smaller groups of people in a relaxed, fun way.

Our Texas Hold ‘Em & Casino Night, for instance, features a Las Vegas-inspired parlor with dice and cards, and a silent auction that includes some truly one-of-a-kind memorabilia. But that’s not all! The event is also a chance to hobnob with – and play against – some celebrity heavy-hitters, like Dwight 'Doc' Gooden (Former NY Mets and NY Yankees pitcher), Otis Anderson (New York Giants Super Bowl XXV MVP), Willie Randolph (Former NY Yankee player and NY Mets coach) and William "Mookie" Wilson (New York Mets Hall of Fame).

At our 2018 Texas Hold ‘Em & Casino Night, Claudia Bertolino, the head of business development at CITCO Fund Services (USA). was the Guest of Honor - and our first female honoree. “I first got involved through the Texas Hold ‘Em Tournament. It was a really great event and I met some really great people…and I just got hooked from there.”

Claudia hopes that more people learn about the variety of fundraising programs put on by St. Francis. “There are a lot of really great events that people should get involved with if they don’t know about them. It’s so enriching to be involved with the wonderful group of people that make up St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters.”

She also understands the importance of our mission: “Once you get involved you learn very quickly that there are people – especially the elderly and the veterans – that had pensions and served our country” but for whom rising costs for such things like healthcare and food have grown exponentially faster than their pensions can cover. None of them should have to choose between heat in the winter and food…but a lot of them have to.”