Sunday, March 10, 2013

Alex Rodriguez Foundation In Hot Water Over Donations

By now, many of you have likely heard about the Boston Globe story that the Alex Rodriguez Foundation only donated 1 percent of proceeds raised in charity events.  One such event was a charity poker tournament that raised over $400,000 and according to reports, only $5,090 of that money was donated.  Fortunately, the case of the Alex Rodriguez Foundation is the exception rather than the rule when it comes to organizations hosting charity poker events.  For years, major sport teams have held charity poker events with deserving organizations being the main benefactor.

The W Scottsdale casino in Scottsdale Arizona has hosted the Spring Training Charity Poker Event for the last three years.  Proceeds from the event go to the Mike Coolbaugh Memorial Fund and each years boasts Major League players.  The most recent version of the event was held just a week ago and featured Cliff Pennington of the Diamondbacks, Casper Well of the Mariners, White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing, and Rangers hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh.

Manchester United of the English Premier League has been using charity poker as a way to benefit hospice care in Northern Ireland.  The Red Devils held a televised charity poker event that pitted several of the team's stars against each other battling for bragging rights and raising money for a Irish hospice.  Jonny Evans won the event both years.

Charlie Batch of the Pittsburg Steelers has been helping young adults in the Pittsburgh area achieve literacy through his Best of the Best Foundation.  Each year, Batch throws his "In the Pocket" charity event that combines charity poker, billiards, and ping-pong.  Donors put up money and in exchange get to play one or more of the games with some of their favorite stars. 

Last year, three New York Jets took part in the 3rd Annual NYC Celebrity Poker Tournament.  Marquice Cole, Drew Coleman, and Tanner Purdem all represented the Jets at the event with proceeds going to Mt. Sinai Children's Hospital and Ride 2 Recovery.  In all, over $20,000 was donated to the two charities.

It would be unfair to comment on the A-Rod situation without knowing all the details.  However, it is evident that charity poker events have been used successfully for years to help worthy causes and that the majority of them are on the level.  Hopefully the problems with the Alex Rodriguez Foundation does not hurt future charities that choose to use the charity poker route to help raise funds.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)