More than 100 poker players nationwide showed their support for Miracle Flights last week as the Las Vegas–based charity hosted its first-ever online poker tournament on Wednesday, August 5. With celebrity guests Oksana Baiul, Brad Garrett, Richard Kind and high stakes poker pro Matt Berkey, the evening raised a total of $13,285.
All funds will go directly to support programming initiatives for Miracle Flights, the nation’s leading medical flight charity, which provides free plane tickets to families who need help reaching specialized medical care far from home. The organization has also expanded its services in recent months to provide face masks for every flyer, ground transportation to medical appointments and other resources to ease the financial and emotional burden of travel amid the Covid-19 crisis.
“Miracle Flights typically provides around 600 flights a month, and even during the pandemic, so many families continue to need our services,” says Miracle Flights CEO Mark E. Brown. “Like all charitable organizations, we’re evolving and adapting to a new fundraising landscape. As we do so, we’re incredibly grateful to our presenting sponsor, Findlay Volkswagen, and the generous network of supporters who came together to make this great night possible.”
Brown joined Faded Spade CEO Tom Wheaton to co-host the virtual tournament, which was live-streamed on Twitch. The HyperX Esports Arena Las Vegas at Luxor also hosted dozens of local players with an exclusive opportunity to participate from a socially distanced, public setting.
At the end of the evening, one tournament champion received a grand-prize getaway for two to Hawaii, including round-trip airfare to Honolulu provided by Southwest Airlines and a four-night stay at the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel.