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Playing the cards for charity

October 25, 2012

 

Students from the Society of Honor Students hosted a poker tournament to raise money for DART. - Photo by Shrada Bhandari

RANEY JOHNSON
Staff Reporter

 

The cost to play in a poker tournament can range from $10 to $10,000, but for a poker tournament held at Tech, the buy-in was the everyday necessities of life.

 

The Society of Honor Students hosted a charity poker tournament last Friday for the Domestic Abuse Resistance Team.

 

“This was our sixth annual poker game,” said Kate Corbin, treasurer of SHS and senior biology major. “Our proceeds are going to go toward DART.”

 

DART is a non-profit organization that provides emergency shelter for abused and battered women in Bienville, Claiborne, Grant, Jackson, Lincoln, Union and Winn parishes according to the organization’s website. DART allows these women and their children to stay at a shelter in an undisclosed location to protect them.

 

“They are very protective of their women, as they should be,” Corbin said.

 

Corbin said they call DART and are told the items SHS needs to get. SHS then makes those items the buy-in for the poker tournament.

 

“That is why we make the buy-in what people [at Dart] need, like paper towels and toothbrushes,” she said.

 

Cathy Ayo, executive director of DART, said she thought the idea of having a poker tournament was fantastic.

 

“I really appreciate that the students are doing this for us,” Ayo said. “You guys should be commended for this.”

 

Ayo said it is fantastic anytime Tech students help out a non-profit organization like DART.

 

“Tech students have been doing a lot for DART this month,” she said.

 

Alpha Chi Omega sorority held the light the Lady for DART early this month. The players on the women’s basketball team also helped DART by unloading some pumpkins last month said Courtney Simmons, assistant basketball coach for the Techsters.

 

Simmons said she attended the poker tournament when she learned it was to benefit DART, but she thought it would be faculty instead of students playing.

 

“Whenever I realized it was for DART, I jumped in on it,” Simmons said.

 

Simmons said she also came to the event to represent the athletic department. She said everyone put in some money to buy the items on the buy in list.

 

“I got as much as I [could] for $80,” Simmons said. “I just about brought everything on the list.”

 

Along with the many items Simmons brought were bags full of diapers, deodorant, baby wipes, soap, washing powder, toothpaste and toothbrushes. However, once their location is undisclosed, SHS cannot take the items directly to the shelter.

 

“We don’t publicize where our shelter is, but we have a site downtown where people can bring us items,” Ayo said.

 

Even though the game was for charity, there were still prizes participants could win. SHS public relations director Matt Rushing, a sophomore kinesiology major, said the prizes were mostly gift cards from restaurants including Eskamoe’s, Portico Bar & Grill, Teriyaki Grill, Logan’s Roadhouse and Dawg House.

 

Rushing said the turnout for the tournament was low compared to previous years.

 

“Normally we have a pretty big turnout,” he said. The poker tournament usually has 60 to 80 participants, but this time it only had a little over 20, Rushing said.

 

“It’s a great opportunity for anyone to help out a worthy cause,” Rushing said.

 

Email comments to rcj008@latech.edu.

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