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Nine years ago, as part of our annual family team fundraising efforts for the March of Dimes, we started holding an annual poker tournament. The first year, we had just under 30 people, and raised $900 or so. Our biggest year, we raised over $5000. It’s a lot of work, but the event never fails to remind me why we do what we do, and that there are some pretty amazing people out there. Every year, at least one thing happens that so touches me. I am moved that our story, our journey affects anyone, much less motivates 50 or so people to come out and give of their time and resources (of course we feed them in the process so maybe there’s that – hahaha). We’ve had some people attend every one of the tournaments. We have some who just joined us a few years back. And there are the newbies every year as well.

This year was no exception on the touching moments. As I finished speaking about why we do this, I reported our current fundraising totals. One lovely man who has come to the tournament the last few years yelled out, “Add $100 to that total!” and he pulled out his checkbook right then and there. It just moved me. He is so sweet.

Another sweet man became our unofficial event photographer three years ago. He truly is one of those guys who is just so nice, and I’m not talking superficially. He’s really just nice. He walked in the door the other night with a big board under his arm…he’d put photos from the last two tournaments on that board. We displayed the board by the entrance for everyone to see as they checked in. No one asked him, he just did it. I love that board. It represents all the hard work, but more than that, how much fun the night is.

Lastly, the winner of the tournament turned right back around and donated back her winnings. I had never met this woman before Saturday night. She had never heard our story before. But she was moved, and in turn, so was I.

Our story is our story. I am always stunned when it motivates people. We all face struggles in our lives. Some of us find causes out of those struggles. When people support those causes because you ask them to, it just shows there is still a ton of good in our world. As for the poker night….we raised over $3,000 for the March of Dimes. Not too shabby I’d say. I am SO thankful, and feel beyond blessed to know such amazing people. 

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