The first annual “Cheatin' for Charity” event was held October 17, 2015 in the heart of Austin, TX. All proceeds went to support building a library/computer lab for the Técnico Chixot Education Center located in San Juan Comalapa, Guatemala. Lifelong Texas friends, as well as new amigos, gathered at Boomerz Club and Bar to learn more about Long Way Home's school project and participate in a benefit poker tournament with a twist.
The afternoon began with the recounting of old stories about growing up in Lufkin, TX where LWH's founder, Matt Paneitz, was raised. The event quickly turned into meeting of Austin community members who came together for one purpose: to support the students.
Once the rules of the game were announced by event host, Mike Minns, the fun began. All gamers paid an entrance fee to buy-in and receive their special deck of cards. If caught cheating, they paid an additional fee to return to the game. The overall winner of the day would win a 1978 Dodge Diplomat donated by Mike. This creative concept made it easy for all parties to have a great time laughing and enjoying various styles of poker at each table.
Gamers were encouraged to take breaks during their card games to bid on the silent auction items. Auction items included: a Sony Smart TV donated by Boomerz Club and Bar; a 3 night, 4 day vacation at a beach house near Galveston, donated by Larry Cain; a case of wine donated by Greg & Kara Paneitz of Wooldridge Creek Winery; and a solar pack donated by Ivan Vargas of Moo-chila. As the afternoon passed, it became evident that Alexandra R. was slated to be the overall winner of the Cheatin' for Charity event and would be driving away in her new Dodge. We are excited to announce that the event raised $2,000 and the library/computer lab on the Comalapa campus is closer to a reality. We hope to see this become an annual event. LWH would like to give a special thanks to Boomerz Club and Bar, Event Sponsors Mike Minns, aka Mr. Dream home, and Jason Palm of Palm Lending, and super volunteers, Eloy Fernandez and Elisa Kerr, for helping the event to be a great success.
~Elisa Kerr, LWH Volunteer