The Second Annual Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic Presented by Aaction Transmissions of Pembroke Pines at Calder Casino & Race Course recently 'hit one out of the park' and raised $115,000 for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation, which helps underwrite the operations of the Conine Clubhouse, a home-away-from-home for families of children under care at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. The event was held on Sunday, Sept. 30.
There was a full house as more than 268 participants, 120 more than last year, took part in the sold-out event which netted $40,000 more than the inaugural event. The evening kicked-off with a VIP welcome reception which lasted well into the night, including a silent auction and raffle featuring autographed sports memorabilia, jewelry, hotel stays, and more.
"After last year's success, we really wanted to hit another home run this year," said Calder's President Austin Miller. "Jeff and Cindy, along with Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation staff, helped us to take an already amazing event and make it even better...and the proof is in the numbers."
Each table at Calder’s Studz Poker Club featured a sports celebrity who was paired with players at all levels as they tested their poker faces and challenged their skills. Sports celebrities included Cliff Floyd, Cookie Rojas, Jim “Crash” Jenson, Ed Jovanovski, Ricky Nolasco, Sean Hill, Shawn Wooden, Tony Nathan and Preston Wilson to name just a few.
“The clubhouse is my proudest accomplishment in South Florida, my legacy, because it’s real life,” said Conine. “Being a professional athlete brings notoriety, but nothing we do between the lines can compare to helping people when they really need it.”
Players battled it out for the top prize of a $10,000 seat to the 2013 World Series of Poker. In the end, the final four players “chopped” the $7,500 first place cash option evenly for $1,875 each.
The remaining four players played for the next top three prizes: a $10,000 poker-themed Corum men’s watch; a 5-day trip to Costa Rica; and a 3-day, 2-night stay at the Clevelander Hotel. First place went to Steve Zaffos of Weston.
The Conine All-Star Golf Classic at The Club at Emerald Hills is scheduled for January 21, 2013. Calder Casino & Race Course is the title sponsor for the 19th annual event.
The Conine Clubhouse is a non-profit residence that is made possible by donations from individuals and corporations who want to lend a hand to help those in need. Families from more than 20 countries have used the Conine Clubhouse’s private rooms, playroom, playground, gardens, chapel, and family support area during times of medical crisis. Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital provides high-quality medical care to all children, regardless of their ability to pay. Families with children being cared for at the hospital are welcome to stay free of charge, based on availability.
Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation
Established in 1994, Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation (www.jdchfoundation.org) raises funds to assist patients and their families and to underwrite the cost of programs, facilities, and equipment at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the leading children’s hospital in Broward and Palm Beach counties. The new Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital opened its doors to patients on July 21, 2011. The four-story, 180,000-square-foot facility has six operating rooms, imaging services, and an entire floor dedicated to pediatric oncology care. The new hospital’s 48 additional private rooms bring the total licensed beds at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital to 204. To learn more or make a donation, please call 954-265-3454.