Third Annual Rotary ‘All In for Kids’ Poker Fundraiser A Full House

The Third Annual Rotary Club of Pacific Palisades “All In for Kids” fundraiser on Saturday, May 21 was a resounding success. Building on the momentum of the first two years the club raised record funds for the YMCA and additional youth organizations.

About 60 players and donors participated in the fundraiser, with  Kevin Niles and Marie Tran checking in players, Tom Welch managing the drink tickets and high hand contest and Layth Carlson, chairman of the Palisades-Malibu YMCA, serving as the master of ceremonies.

Coldwell Banker branch manager Anne Russell places her bet at the poker tournament. RIch Schmitt/Staff Photographer
Coldwell Banker branch manager Anne Russell places her bet at the poker tournament.
RIch Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Prizes totaling $5,000 were awarded to the top five finishers including winner Andrew Dunn, son of Merv Dunn who won the second year of the tournament. Merv clearly taught his son well.

Catering for the event was provided by Tacos Por Favor, served by Nancy Niles and Janet Davis, wife of the Event Coordinator Pete Crosby. Niles and Davis also cooked and provided the appetizers. The professional dealers (the “Dealer Dolls”) did a great job handling the dealing, rebuys, high hand contest and drink service from the bar, staffed by Dave and Cris Card. Shelly Skaro, YMCA executive director, and the membership director Francesca LaPosta did a great job of decorating the room.

Rotary Club member Perry Akins plays in the poker tournament on Saturday, May 21. RIch Schmitt/Staff Photographer
Rotary Club member Perry Akins plays in the poker tournament on Saturday, May 21.
RIch Schmitt/Staff Photographer

Two Texas Hold’em training tables during “Happy Hour” at 5 p.m. were taught by the Dealer Dolls (for basics) and Rafe Furst (who taught advanced strategies). Furst is a past winner of the World Series of Poker.

The game got started at about 6 p.m. as six poker tables were mostly filled. The game finished up at about 10:30 p.m. when the prizes were awarded to the top five winners.

Nancy Takacs, business sdministrator, and her assistant Enrique Portillo made sure Janes Hall at the Pacific Palisades Presbyterian Church was a comfortable and hospitable venue for the event. Everyone had a fun time at this partially tax-deductible event. All are welcome next year to play and donate to the YMCA and other charities.