The residents in Aspen, Colorado put together a series of charity events to send people in need to India for a groundbreaking embryonic stem cell therapy treatment. This new treatment will help people with incurable or irreversible diseases! The therapy isn’t cheap; it runs about $40,000 for 2 months. One of the charity events being held was of course, a game of No Limit Texas Hold-Em.
The event didn’t have a buy-in, but the average donation was $200 per player. The winner received a $10,000 spot in the World Series of Poker and members of the final table shared in some of the top poker player’s winnings.
Specifically, the charity events were put together to raise money for three women with spinal injuries. Kasie Burtard, a Carbondale native was in a car accident in 2002 and was paralyzed from just above her navel all the way down. “Being 25, you don’t want to be in a wheelchair for your whole life,” she said. Kasie had the opportunity to play in the poker game alongside the high rollers and was very thankful for the money that was raised.
Co-founders of the challenge, Amanda Boxtel and Leah Roland not only put together the poker event, but they also worked hard to organize another fundraiser which doubled as the Aspen Club’s 30th Anniversary Celebration. The anniversary function will have both a live and silent auction featuring items like a Caribbean adventure on a 50 foot sailboat with a full crew. The event is open to the entire community and promises to raise a very generous amount of money for this very important cause. All of the proceeds will go to support stem cell treatments for Boxtel, Roland and Burtard in their quest to walk again.
Amanda Boxtel is a firm believer in the stem cell treatment because she’s already been to India and worked with Dr. Geeta Shroff. The treatments take place in a 20 room private facility and include a morning and afternoon injection along with intensive physical therapy. She spent two months in India in the summer of 2007 and she says that she has gained some feeling and movement in her legs.
Aspen Club CEO Michael Fox says that he’s hoping the poker tournament and upcoming auctions will help out the three women. Obviously the financial needs of all three women are different, but the more help they can get the better. “Hopefully we can start a tradition in the valley of sending people to India,” Fox said.
Personally, I absolutely love it when we can use our love of poker to help those in need. If you are heading out to Aspen for the holidays, make sure you take some time out to visit the Aspen Club!