Home People 5th Annual “Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic”

5th Annual “Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic”

The 5th Annual “Jeff Conine Celebrity Poker Classic” is a night of fun and philanthropy, and an opportunity to head home with $10,000 cash. Even those who don’t win the grand prize can be satisfied they’ve made a difference for children and families coping with serious medical issues.

The fundraiser – to be held at Isle Casino Racing Pompano Park on Monday, July 11 (5:30 p.m.) – benefits the Conine Clubhouse, a home-away-from-home where families of children under care at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood can stay for free.

Jeff Conine (photo credit – Fortson Photography)

The event is hosted by “Mr. Marlin,” Jeff Conine, and his wife, Cindy, and features a full evening of casino action for players and guests. The Isle Poker Room, one of the top in the state of Florida, will host 300+ players vying for the first place prize of $10,000 cash. Other prizes will include vacation and hotel packages, jewelry, and cash totaling more than $20,000. Celebrity guests from the worlds of sports and entertainment are expected to attend and play.

The evening begins with a welcome reception (5:30 p.m.) at Farraddays Steak House that includes the celebrities, a premium open bar, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, live music and more. There will also be a silent auction of unique items from the worlds of sports and entertainment prior to the tournament beginning at 7:00 p.m.

A $250 donation ($300 after July 1) reserves a seat for poker and entry to the welcome reception. Those not playing poker can purchase admission for $75. Proceeds from the event help underwrite costs at the Conine Clubhouse, which has provided free lodging to nearly 10,000 families that have had a child hospitalized at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. $105,000 was raised at the 2015 event.

Conine Clubhouse

“Cindy and I stayed at the clubhouse when our son was younger and know firsthand the importance of being close to the hospital,” said Conine. “It provides all the amenities of a three-star hotel but, more importantly, gives families a temporary place to call home when they need it most.”

Sponsors of the Conine Celebrity Poker Classic include the Isle Casino, which underwrites the majority of the cost to present the event, allowing the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation to maximize the fundraising opportunity. Additional support comes from Steve and Valerie Zaffos, PNC Bank, and Transamerica Retirement Solutions.

Player participation for poker is limited, with registration taking place at CONINEPOKERCLASSIC.ORG. Event sponsorship, which includes seats in the poker tournament and admission to the VIP Reception, is also available on the website. For more information, contact Craig Cohen at CrCohen@MHS.net or 954-265-7241.

Established in 1994, the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation (www.jdchf.org) raises funds through events like the Conine Celebrity Poker Classic to assist patients and their families and underwrite the costs of programs, facilities and equipment at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the largest children’s hospital serving Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Nick Sortal is semi-retired after 35 years as a newspaper writer and editor, with 30 of those years dedicated to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. He spent the majority of his career as a community news writer and editor, delving into the issues and topics most newsworthy to local residents. He has a reputation for being fair – weighing every sides of an issue – and checked and re-checked information almost to the point of being annoying


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