Charity Play

 

I began the Charity Play of the Week promotion in March of 2012 as an extension of my own personal gift-giving philosophy. For over 20 years I've been a consistent contributor to nationally recognized charitable organizations like St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Special Olympics, among others. But, at the same time, I also found myself sending donations to total strangers whose stories I read about in newspapers across the nation while researching and handicapping games.


While giving away money that I personally made from being in this business, it dawned on me that I could create a community of givers from those that gamble using my advice and that of the handicappers at this site. 


The word "gambling" and the entire sports handicapping industry has been tarnished by the countless, unscrupulous carnival barkers who have been operating high-pressure, 800 boilerroom operations for the better part of three decades. However, having built and operated the largest 100% online sports handicapping business in the world, I always felt there was some greater good that could be accomplished while enjoying what we do for recreation. 


Back in 2012 while handicapping games I came across the story of a father with two special-needs children in Texas who was battling terminal cancer. There was a fund-raising effort started to collect money for his eventual funeral expenses and his family's well-being. I immediately made my own personal donation but then started thinking about how I could get our customers involved as well. The Charity Play of the Week program was thus born when I gave away my Best Bet the following day for Free with the stipulation that if it won I was going to put up a link to the fund-raising site and ask customers - strictly on an anonymous, honor-based level - to make a contribution. If it lost, however, there would be no solicitation since this is, after all, gambling.


The play did in fact win and the outpouring of support from my customers was amazing. The amount of the donation wasn't important as I asked them to make whatever contribution they could afford. And, as I explained to them, I was starting the program because I personally felt one could never have enough positive karma in one's life, not just in this thing we do called gambling. 


As I have often told you frequently since the program was born, karma is not something that can be picked at the supermarket or dropped off at your door like the morning paper. You need to create it and the good will this program has generated is proof positive. 


Since the program's inception, I have given away over $3.4 million (yes, MILLION) worth of selections at the site (through late-September 2013). And the response has been overwhelming because so many of you - loyal patrons at this site - have helped so many strangers in need of financial assistance when their chips are down. 


That is what building a community of givers is all about. 

 

Yes, a COMMUNITY, because without your participation this program doesn't exist.

 

For those of you new to the program, once a week I'm going to pick one hot handicapper and give away his play for free. Then if it wins - and if you win - I'm going to ask you to make a donation to a family, group or organization that needed financial support.

 

The amount of the donation is inconsequential; $5, $15 or $500 - it doesn't matter as long as you participate in this quid pro quo program. The donations would be strictly on the honor system; I have no idea who you are or how much you contribute. And I have no idea whether those getting the free plays are in fact making a contribution. I'm simply going on my belief that there is honor among gamblers and that those of you participating are helping others in turn.

 

For those who have joined me in helping others, my sincere thanks. For those of you that participate and don't donate, I don't know how you can face yourself in the mirror each day.

 

Regards,

 

Al DeMarco,

General Manager

 


CHARITY PLAY OF THE WEEK UPDATES

 

I've told you that I become personally invested in every family and/or organization that we've helped. Not just from a financial standpoint, either. It takes me a couple of hours following a winning release to sort through all the different fund raising sites seeking support. It's not fun reading about so much despair and I don't like "playing God," choosing one family or group over another.

 

After I make a selection, I like to keep track of how those on the receiving end are doing. Sometimes it's great news.... and sometimes not. We are often dealing with life and death situations here.

 

Below I will keep you updated on a number of past families and/or groups we have helped along the way.

 


APRIL 3, 2013

 

Mason Helwig is a little guy who suffers from a disease called XLP. This rare disorder affects less than one child in a million and strikes males only with nearly 75 percent of those failing to live past 10-years-old. The best treatment is a bone marrow transplant and Mason - who is expected to be hospitalized in Ohio for six months - will be receiving chemotherapy as he prepares for a transplant. 

 

Here's the original link to follow his story: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/fRt98

 

Thanks to your support, this family met its goal. His mother posted this note of appreciation:

 

Tiffany Marcum Helwig

 

amazing!!!!!!!!! everyone has been sooo amazing!!!!!!! thank you thank you thank you!!! what a wonderful world we live in where complete strangers can come together and help!!!! very inspiring i thank you so much!


And our Customer Service Department received this email from Mason's great aunt:


Donations of $5, $10, and $15 have been coming in through the FundRaizer link you shared. Thank you so very, very much! The family appreciates your support and kindness.

 


MARCH 28, 2013

 

There's a six-year-old boy by the name of Fin who has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy. From what I read, it's the most severe form of the disease because it affects all four limbs and the trunk and usually has other associated problems as well.


Here's are pictures of Fin at this link:


https://www.facebook.com/pages/Finlan-Renzo/229655771219?id=229655771219&sk=photos_stream


Fin's family wanted to purchase a a wheelchair bicycle tandem, which you can see here:


http://www.frankmobility.com/duetfeat.php


They began a fund-raising campaign and thought they had hit their goal to purchase the bike only to discover they were still around $2,000 short. Talk about getting backdoored. But unlike in our business, we were able to change the final result and turn a loss into a win by helping their cause at this link:


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0Rg3e

 

Feel good about yourself if you donated by watching the touching videos from Fin and his father expressing their appreciation and gratitude at:


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0Rg3e

 


MARCH 21, 2013

 

Four-year-old Zaiden Hauter was diagnosed with a Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma in October of 2012. He completed six rounds of chemo - which unfortunately didn't work - and is now scheduled to head to New York on May 17 for surgery as doctors will attempt to remove most of the cancer that is currently on the front part of his spine. After that surgery, he will have another high dose chemo treatment in hopes of killing the cancer cells in his bone marrow.

 

Zaiden's family needed some financial assistance to cover their trip to New York and the resulting stay. You know as well as I do that insurance simply doesn't cover everything.

 

You can read about their plight here:


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/fRwJc


You can also follow Zaiden's journey through the family's Facebook page at:


http://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Zaiden/479236032128700


What struck me on this page is how many other small children are fighting cancer for their lives as their struggles were noted by Zaiden's mother.

 


MARCH 14, 2013

 

Kristin Van Daalen is a 31-year-old mother with three young daughters - ages 7 and 4 (twins) - who can no longer work because of chronic kidney disease and resulting renal failure. Without a kidney transplant, which she is awaiting, she will die.


Unable to work any longer, she needed some financial support to get her through this time of need and that's where you came in.


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/5SXk3

 


MARCH 7, 2013

 

Tytus Meister is a 9-year-old boy from Montana who was diagnosed in September with a rare cancer-like autoimmune disease called Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.


He began radiation treatment in Seattle on February 26. The family was then on its fourth 500-mile trip from Montana to Seattle for a hospital visit in the past five months and second in three weeks. Needless to say, they need some financial help to make ends meet for all the expenses that insurance doesn't cover.


Here is the donation page to make a contribution:


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cRAje


And you can follow the day-to-day updates from this family on their journey right here:


https://www.facebook.com/atrekwithtytus

 

 

Here is a note from Tytus's mother that was posted to their site. Although addressed to me, it's meant for all of YOU that help defray their journey's costs.

 

As we sit waiting on more results from tests, and other forks in the road that we didn't anticipate, you somehow managed to lift our spirits in a huge way. We can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and what you've done. We didn't expect it, I was lucky enough to figure out where all these were coming from. This is special, and we won't ever forget! THANK YOU!

Update - On April 8, his mother posted the following:

 

Tytus is doing absolutely AWESOME. He's spending less and less time in his brace and starts physical therapy soon! We recheck with ortho, and neurosurgery in June! 

 


FEBRUARY 21, 2013

 

Ashley Britton's little girl, Zoe, has been plagued by numerous health issues since she was three months old, among them seizures, elevated spinal pressure and inter-cranial pressure. But countless tests run by her medical team in the Kansas City area had not been able to shed light on the underlying cause(s) let alone a solution. Her doctors had recommended a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and this family was seeking financial assistance to defray some of the costs involved with medical care and travel.


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/bOrka


You take one look at that little girl and tell me how you could refuse to help?

 


FEBRUARY 14, 2013

 

Nathan Klinkhammer, age 27, of Beaumont, Texas, underwent cancer surgery for a second time in two years on his knee as he had a tumor removed. In a cruel twist of irony, he is a floor installer by trade. Needless to say, he was going to be out of work for quite a while with no way to support his wife and two young girls as he embarked on a 15-week, five-day-a-week radiation course.

 

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/1R6j9


The creator of this family's fund-raising page posted this remark....

 

We cannot thank each and every one of you enough for your unbelievable support during this time. You are all truly amazing, and we pray God will bless you and your family as you have so graciously blessed Nathan's.

 

And on February 27, this great news was added....

 

Thank you to everyone for the kindness you've shown Nathan and support of his battle. I hope he doesn't mind, but I'd like to tell you just how amazing Nathan and Misty are, and tell you what your money helped support. With funds generated from all of our fundraisers, they were able to pay the bills through the duration of his radiation. They had a little leftover. Meanwhile Nathan continues treatment, where he met an 8-year-old girl with a brain tumor. Her mom works for Walmart; her father unemployed. Nathan and Misty gave the leftover money to her family. You have touched many lives, friends.

 

And on March 5, Nathan posted this....

 

Great news! My 15-18 weeks of treatment ends Friday. My white blood count is great, CT scans show nothing abnormal, all blood work is great. As of right now, I'm cancer free again!

 


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Time Teams Score Stat Open Westgate 5 Dimes Pinnacle CRIS Carib
Wednesday, August 15th - NATIONAL LEAGUE
2:20 PM
901 MIL
902 CUB
4
8
FINAL
FINAL
+120
-140
9o20
-142
9
-147
9o06
-143
9
-140
9
-140
7:35 PM
903 MIA
904 ATL
2
5
FINAL
FINAL
+195
-235
8½u15
-245

-238
8½u05
-221
8½u19
-240
8½o15
-245
8:15 PM
905 WAS
906 STL
2
4
FINAL
FINAL
-107
-113
9o15
-115
9o15
-116
9o08
-118
9o15
-115
9o15
-120
10:10 PM
907 SFO
908 LOS
3
4
FINAL
FINAL
+160
-190
8o15
-176
8o20
-175
8o15
-170
8o19
-180
8u15
-205
Wednesday, August 15th - AMERICAN LEAGUE
1:10 PM
909 CWS
910 DET
6
5
FINAL
FINAL
-115
-105
9u20
-112
9u20
-108
9u17
-115
9u18
-115
-140
9u15
3:35 PM
911 SEA
912 OAK
2
0
FINAL
FINAL
+117
-137
8½o15
-113
8½o15
-111
8½o10
-107
8½o12
-111
-115
8½o15
7:05 PM
913 TAM
914 NYY
6
1
FINAL
FINAL
9u15
-200
9o20
-190
9o25
-191
9o25
-182
9o25
-185
9o25
-195
8:30 PM
915 TOR
916 KAN
6
5
FINAL
FINAL
-135
+115
-121
9u15
-119
9

-124
9u15
-130
9o15
Wednesday, August 15th - INTERLEAGUE
1:10 PM
917 PIT
918 MIN
4
6
FINAL
FINAL
+105
-125
8u20
-118
8u20
-116
8u25
-117
7½o19
-115
8u15
-110
7:05 PM
919 NYM
920 BAL
16
5
FINAL
FINAL
-135
8½o20
-126
9u20
-127
8½o25
-125
8½o19
-126
8½o20
-150
8½o25
7:05 PM
921 BOS
922 PHI
4
7
FINAL
FINAL
-143
+123
-108
8½o20
8½o20
-105
8½o15
-106
8½o17
-105
-130
8½o25
7:10 PM
923 CLE
924 CIN
4
3
FINAL
FINAL
-177
+152
-168
9u15
-165
9u15
-171
9u13
-168
9
-190
9u15
8:10 PM
925 COL
926 HOU
1
12
FINAL
FINAL
+165
-195
7½u20
-210
7½u20
-205
7½u16
-204
7½u27
-203
7½u20
-215
9:10 PM
927 LAA
928 SDG
3
2
FINAL
FINAL
-108
-112
8
-130
8u15
-126
8u13
-125
8u18
-127
8
-130
Thursday, August 16th - NATIONAL LEAGUE
4:05 PM
951 NYM
952 PHI
    9o20
-150
  9o20
-150
  9o20
-150
 
7:05 PM
953 NYM
954 PHI
    8½o20
-165
  8½o20
-165
  8½o20
-165
 
7:05 PM
955 CUB
956 PIT
   
-110
8½o20
-108
-115
-119
8½o07
-115
-115
7:15 PM
957 WAS
958 STL
    8½o19
-135

8½o20

8½o20
-122

7:35 PM
959 COL
960 ATL
    8½u15
-110
8½u15
-105
-106
8½u25
-110
8½u21
8½u20
-105
8½u20
-110
10:10 PM
961 ARI
962 SDG
    -130
8
-128
8o15
-127
8
-128
8u05
-131
8
-130
8
Thursday, August 16th - AMERICAN LEAGUE
1:05 PM
963 TAM
964 NYY
    8
-180
8o15
-168
8o15
-182
8o09
-181
8o15
-182
8o15
-180
8:05 PM
965 LAA
966 TEX
               
8:10 PM
967 DET
968 MIN
    9
-160
9½u20
-152
9
-166
9o06
-164
9o20
-166
9
-165
8:15 PM
969 TOR
970 KAN
    -130
9o19
-130
9½u20
-124
9½u30
-126
9½u25
-127
9½u20
-125
9½u20
Friday, August 17th - NATIONAL LEAGUE
6:05 PM
901 NYM
902 PHI
               
7:05 PM
903 MIA
904 WAS
               
7:05 PM
905 CUB
906 PIT
               
7:10 PM
907 SFO
908 CIN
               
7:35 PM
909 COL
910 ATL
               
8:15 PM
911 MIL
912 STL
               
10:10 PM
913 ARI
914 SDG
               
Friday, August 17th - AMERICAN LEAGUE
7:05 PM
915 TOR
916 NYY
               
7:10 PM
917 BAL
918 CLE
               
7:10 PM
919 TAM
920 BOS
               
8:05 PM
921 LAA
922 TEX
               
8:10 PM
923 DET
924 MIN
               
8:10 PM
925 KAN
926 CWS
               
10:05 PM
927 HOU
928 OAK
               
Friday, August 17th - INTERLEAGUE
10:10 PM
929 LOS
930 SEA
               
BIG3 - American Airlines Center - Dallas, TX (PLAYOFFS) - Friday, August 17th - PLAYOFF MATCHUPS
3:00 AM
305505 3S Company
305506 3 Headed Monsters
               
3:00 AM
305507 Tri State
305508 Power
               
BIG3 - Barclays Center - Brooklyn, NY (CHAMPIONSHIP) - Friday, August 24th - CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
3:00 AM
305515
305516
               
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