Playing Poker for a Cause

Mollie Reilly

Last Friday, the Hall of Presidents was transformed from its usual traditional atmosphere into a lively Game Night filled with amusements, food and dozens of people ready to have fun for a good cause.

The event, organized by members of the Center for Outreach and Volunteer Education (COVE) Alternative Break Habitat for Humanity and Dominican Republic spring break trips and co-sponsored by Bacchus, was focused around a poker tournament, but also included Wii Sports, Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero and a beginner’s poker tournament for new players.

A similar event was held last semester, which drew more participants than Friday’s Game Night.

“It was held last semester and was a big success, so we decided to do it again to help raise money for the trips,” event co-organizer senior John Sweeney said. “We think the event works well because we use games like poker, Guitar Hero, DDR and Wii games which are popular among students, and give them the opportunity to play them in a more social setting and to help a good cause at the same time.”

$479 was raised to benefit both trips. 24 people participated in the poker tournament, which had a prize of $100. Others came to check out the other games and take advantage of the alternative options available on campus for weekend nights. The COVE and the Alternative Break program plan to hold similar events in the future.

“The event is a successful one already, and we believe that once it becomes a bit more well known on campus, it can be even more of a success,” Sweeney said.

During breaks from the tournament, members of both the Dominican Republic and Habitat for Humanity trips spoke to the crowd about their objectives in spending their spring breaks helping others.

Each year, the Habitat for Humanity group participates in a weeklong trip where students build simple, affordable housing that will be sold at no profit to people in need.

The Dominican Republic trip, also organized through the COVE, will travel to the country for a week to build a sustainable garden for a community.

“We hoped that by doing this we not only make the participants aware of our trips, but also let them know that these trips are a lot of fun and we accomplish a lot on them, so that we can also raise interest in the trips next year,” Sweeney said.