This year’s “All in for Scholars” poker and casino night was a huge success with record breaking numbers, including over 550 young professionals in attendance on Friday, May 4th. The sunny, warm weather could not have been better for this magnificent night with guests enjoying not only the beautiful inside space of Galleria Marchetti but also the spacious outdoor garden area. Supporters enjoyed donated beverages courtesy of Garfield’s Beverage, Heaven Hill Distilleries, MGP Ingredients and MillerCoors. Galleria Marchetti provided the food with a full buffet including fried calamari, chicken vesuvio strips, pastas, salads and sliders. The late-night pizzas, ice cream and cookies were also a big hit! Throughout the night guests enjoyed the beautiful weather by hanging out in the garden courtyard which featured an outdoor bar and cigar tasting lounge courtesy of Cohiba.
Aside from the delicious food and lively atmosphere what really stood out from previous years was the organization’s largest silent auction to date with 50 items! The silent auction featured a wide range of prizes including fitness packages, sports tickets and memorabilia, and various gift baskets featuring beauty products and spirits. New this year at the silent auction tables was a specialized art section showcasing four art pieces from graphite artist Sue Ellison, digital artist Dan Tamarkin and oil painter Alex Helfers.
The night opened with special words and thanks from the President of the Young Professionals Board, Sarah Ellison. Next up was committee member, Meredith Mansinne who was followed by the founder of HFS Chicago Scholars, Mike Kennelly. The party continued with hours of poker and casino games including blackjack, craps, and roulette which drew a big crowd around the tables cheering friends and family on to win big! There were lots of chances to go home with a prize including two lucky winners who were chosen in the stack-the-deck raffle. Only 52 cards were sold, and winners chose between a 4-day, 3-night stay in Las Vegas or 4 rooftop tickets to a Chicago Cubs game plus cool swag! Casino raffle prizes consisted of gift cards, jewelry, in-home wine tasting and White Sox tickets just to name a few. But the most sought-after prize of the night was in the poker room, where over 100 players tested their skills hoping to be the lucky winner of the $10,000 seat at the WSOP in Las Vegas. Overall the night was a huge success but even more so for the poker grand prize winner, Mike Forst!
HFS Chicago Scholars assists economically disadvantaged Chicago inner-city high school students who show academic and leadership promise to achieve their educational goals by providing financial assistance and mentoring. Thanks to everyone who attended this event, HFS Chicago Scholars was able to gain new mentors as well as additional financial means to continue their program. For more information, please visit: www.hfschicagoscholars.com