SGA Leadership “All in” For Campus Poker Tournament
Published: Friday, April 6, 2012
Updated: Friday, April 6, 2012 17:04
It turned out to be a night “flush” with excitement when the second annual “Pay It Forward” Charity Poker tournament was held on March 28 in the Veteran’s Hall at the North Campus Center.
More than 20 people attended, raising $378.
The winner was Student Government Association (SGA) Senate member Joel Pipes, who donated the winnings to the “Wounded Warriors Project,” a program established to raise public awareness and to meet the needs of injured service members.
“We expected a bigger turnout by inviting more members of the community, handing out flyers, and word-of-mouth advertising,” said SGA Civic Engagement Chairperson Thomas Durfee.
As an added way to inspire people to join, gift cards for Dunkin’ Donuts and Bagel World, t-shirts, Girl Scout cookies, and other Salem State gifts were advertised to be raffled off in between rounds of the tournament.
Hosted by the Civic Engagement Committee, the poker tournament has garnered much popularity since its introduction last semester, raising money for various local charities. The winner of the tournament donates his/her earnings to the charity of his/her choice.
Durfee, winner of the inaugural poker tournament, donated winnings totaling $254 to Salem’s Lifebridge Homeless Shelter last semester.
“If the winners don’t have a charity in mind, the group has a list of charities, such as the Boys and Girls Club and the Jimmy Fund, which they can choose from,” he said.
Durfee, a longtime fan and avid player of poker, realized last semester that a lot of people played it for fun or profit, and decided to combine the two ideas, feeling that it would be “a fun, new way to raise money.”
“It’s an idea I had as treasurer a while back, but I couldn’t get it going due to budget concerns and my low official position,” said Durfee. “This year, however, it’s become more than possible. It’s a reality.”
Durfee said he believes in the idea of hands-on fun and work when it comes to the local community, having developed new ideas for community and volunteer events for last semester.
Those ideas included a Christmas bazaar at a local retirement home, as well as a “Habitat for Humanity” event this year.
“You gain a lot of experience from helping others in person. The way I see it, by volunteering, you see who you’re helping and make a direct impact on their lives,” said Durfee. ”It’s very satisfying on a personal level.”