The Second Annual All-In Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament is open for registrants and is ready to take another swing at child sex trafficking. This tourney is the brainchild of Michael Calens and Kevin Segal, member and pastor of Refinery Christian Church in Goodyear, Arizona. Last year, they heard the staggering statistics about child sexual exploitation in Phoenix and the US, and knew they couldn’t sit by and do nothing. They engaged people through their church and workplaces to participate in an innovative benefit poker tournament to raise funds for StreetLightUSASM, the major residential care facility in Arizona for girls rescued from child sex slavery.
Last year’s results exceeded the team’s expectations, raising over $21,000 to aid the trafficking survivors. This year, Calens hopes to raise even more and bring awareness of this terrible crime against children to a greater number of Phoenix area residents.
Typcially, the kids who become ensnared by a pimp are runaways with histories of abuse in the home. About one out of three are wooed by an exploiter within 48 hours of being on the streets, then, after a dependency relationship is established, the child will be prostituted out, either on the streets, through strip clubs, massage parlors or porn media, or via the internet. The only ways the vast majority escape the life as a prostituted person is through death or a deliberate rescue intervention. Many who are picked up by law enforcement have no safe place to go, except juvenile detention.
StreetLightUSA offers safe and comprehensive residential treatment to those girls who have been part of the commercial sex industry. Segal and Calens want to see the community financially back the 48-bed facility so the girls who are recovered have a chance to heal and turn their lives around. Individual players and teams can still sign up for the Texas Hold ‘Em event, but don’t delay. Seats are going fast.
When: Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5, 2012
Online registration closes at midnight, Thursday May 3.
Walk-ins will be accepted at the event up to the number of allowed seats.
Location: Ft. McDowell Casino
Fountain Hills/Ft. McDowell, Arizona (Map)
Registration: $60 Tournament Buy-in
$50 Re-buys, $50 Add-on
$5000 chips to start
Check-in: 6:00 PM
Start Time: 7:00 PM
Cash Prizes: 50% of all buy-ins go to the top 20 finishers!
Gift Bags: Gifts, discounts, and more goodies from our sponsors
Early Bird: Sign up by March 23, 2012 and get an additional $1,000 in chips to start!