Charity Poker Tournament takes center stage at Hampton Inn Hallandale Beach/Aventura

When you talk “charity”, you’re talking the language of the Aventura Marketing Council (AMC).   The AMC is a not-for-profit business organization with over 400 businesses and organizations from throughout So. Florida, but they have always devoted time and energy to helping their members that are charities and non-profits.  They recently held a successful Charity Poker Tournament and networking reception at the beautiful Hampton Inn Hallandale Beach/Aventura.

David Bloom, Stern Bloom Media; Jeff Levinson, C1 Bank; Erica Ungarini, Paychex; Karen Dresbach, National Multiple Sclerosis Society- South Florida; Brian Foster, CareCloud; Nick Ferber, Sanford Barrows Group; Candy Wynn, EWM Realty; The Hon. Michael Stern, Stern Bloom Media

David Bloom, Stern Bloom Media; Jeff Levinson, C1 Bank; Erica Ungarini, Paychex; Karen Dresbach, National Multiple Sclerosis Society- South Florida; Brian Foster, CareCloud; Nick Ferber, Sanford Barrows Group; Candy Wynn, EWM Realty; The Hon. Michael Stern, Stern Bloom Media

“We were delighted to have the opportunity to host this charity event as part of our community involvement and partnership with the Aventura Marketing Council!” said Cecilia Orbegozo, Hampton Inn’s Director of Sales & Marketing.

Twenty-four poker players each paid $100 to play in the tournament, choosing their favorite AMC member charity or non-profit organization to play for.    Whomever came in first would have $1,200 to give to their selected charity; second-place winner would have $800 for their charity and the third-place winner would have $400 for theirs.   And if there’s one thing AMC members like to do, it’s support their favorite organizations!

Poker-playing slots sold quickly and  the evening got off to a roaring start as poker players arrived early for their ‘orientation’ given by Dealers Michael Stern and David Bloom, Stern Bloom Media,  Nick Ferber from Sanford Barrows Group and  Brian Foster from CareCloud.

Other guests came for the outstanding networking—and of course the delicious buffet that the Hampton Inn provided— checking into the Poker Room throughout the evening to see who was still at the table.   As the evening went on, the poker players dwindled down to a final round, starting with the top two winners from the four original tables. It was a test of skill...and patience...and poker-savvy...and all eight of the players in the final round possessed those attributes.   The final eight players were Erica Ungarini from Paychex, playing for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-So. Florida; Jeff Levinson from C1 Bank playing for Junior Achievement  Gr. Miami;  Candy Wynn playing for Beth Torah;  Bruce Roden of  Klaus Multiparking playing for  Miami Children’s Health Foundation; Arthur Barr, Centennial Properties playing for Aventura City of Excellence School; Dr. David Muransky of Rotary Club Hallandale Beach/Aventura playing for Michael-Ann Russell JCC; Teri Knights playing for Jewish Community Svcs. of So. Fl. and Sandy Curtis of Edible Arrangements playing for Pearl Girlz.

Cards flew across the table, chips were won and lost...and in the end, it was Erica Ungarini who won First Place--$1,200 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society-So. Fl. and CEO Karen Dresbach was there watching her win, trying not to get too excited throughout the evening’s play.    The $800 second place check was won by Jeff Levinson for Junior Achievement Gr. Miami and $400 third place was won by Candy Wynn for Beth Torah.

All the players received a gift certificate from the Aventura Mall; a beautiful Betty Boop miniature case, courtesy of Barker Animation Art Gallery; a designer shoe horn from Dr. David Muransky, Aventura Chiropractic Care and a goody bag full of electronic goodies from the Hampton Inn.

For more information on the Hampton Inn, visit hamptonninnaventura.com; for information on the Aventura Marketing Council, visit aventuramarketingcouncil.com