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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Monday, August 20th - NATIONAL LEAGUE
7:05 PM
951 ATL
952 PIT
1
0
FINAL
FINAL
8o20
-119
8u15
-126
8
-128
8u07
-127
8u15
-126
8u15
-140
7:10 PM
953 SFO
954 NYM
2
1
FINAL
FINAL
8u15
-130
-112
7½u20
-117
7½u20
-116
7½u18
-111
7½u20
-120
7½u20
8:10 PM
955 CIN
956 MIL
2
5
FINAL
FINAL
9u20
-190
9o20
-230
9o20
-228
9o21
-225
9½u20
-230

-250
10:10 PM
957 STL
958 LOS
3
3
TOP
9th
+130
-150
8½u20
-200

-200
8½o06
-198

-205
8½o15
-215
Monday, August 20th - AMERICAN LEAGUE
7:05 PM
959 BAL
960 TOR
3
5
FINAL
FINAL
9u15
-165
9u15
-170
9u20
-168
9u14
-172
9u25
-175
9u20
-225
7:10 PM
961 KAN
962 TAM
0
1
FINAL
FINAL
8
-190
8
-210
8o15
-215
8o06
-210
8u11
-209
8o15
-225
7:10 PM
963 CLE
964 BOS
5
4
FINAL
FINAL
8½o20
-110

-105

-105
8½u07
-105
8½u17
-111
8½o15
-110
7:40 PM
965 CWS
966 MIN
8
5
FINAL
FINAL
9½u20
-170
9½u20
-153
9½u25
-158
9½u20
-158
9½u25
-163
9½u25
-170
10:05 PM
967 TEX
968 OAK
0
9
FINAL
FINAL
8½o20
-182
8½o25
-190
9
-193
8½o26
-192
9u15
-190
8½o25
-225
10:10 PM
969 HOU
970 SEA
4
7
FINAL
FINAL
-165
8u20
-165
8o20
-167
8
-166
8o06
-170
8o15
-220
8o15
Tuesday, August 21st - NATIONAL LEAGUE
7:05 PM
901 ATL
902 PIT
    -105
-115
8o15
-124

-125
8u24
-133
8o19
-115
7½o15
-130
7:05 PM
903 PHI
904 WAS
    8½o20
-140
9u15
-135
8½o30
-136
8½o28
-134
9u15
-140
8½o30
-140
7:10 PM
905 SFO
906 NYM
               
8:10 PM
907 CIN
908 MIL
    9o15
-190
9u20
-190
9
-195
9u07
-192
9o15
-195
9o15
-195
8:40 PM
909 SDG
910 COL
    10½o20
-180
10½u15
-174
10½o15
-169
10½o11
-167
10½o20
-171
10½o20
-180
10:10 PM
911 STL
912 LOS
    8
-160
8o25
-170
8o25
-174
8o22
-171
8o20
-175
8o20
-180
Tuesday, August 21st - AMERICAN LEAGUE
7:05 PM
913 BAL
914 TOR
    9o20
-150
9u20
-145
9u20
-142
9u16
-139
9u20
-152
9u15
-150
7:10 PM
915 CLE
916 BOS
    9½o15
-150
9½u30
-145
9½u20
-143
9½u15
-140
9½u15
-145
9½u15
-150
7:10 PM
917 KAN
918 TAM
    +200
-240
7o25
-240
7o20
-235
7o12
-235
7o25
-240
7o25
-240
8:10 PM
919 MIN
920 CWS
    -145
9u20
-125
8½o15
-128
-128
9u29
-127
8½o15
-130
10:05 PM
921 TEX
922 OAK
               
10:10 PM
923 HOU
924 SEA
               
Tuesday, August 21st - INTERLEAGUE
7:10 PM
925 CUB
926 DET
    -180
9
-174
9u15
-178
9u15
-181
9u07
-175
9u20
-180
9u20
7:10 PM
927 NYY
928 MIA
    -230
8
-210
8u20
-220
8u25
-210
8u21
-230
7½o15
-220
8u20
9:40 PM
929 LAA
930 ARI
    8½u20
-175
8½u35
-200
8½u25
-215
8½u21
-204
8o15
-210
8½u25
-210
BIG3 - Barclays Center - Brooklyn, NY (CHAMPIONSHIP) - Friday, August 24th - CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
3:00 AM
305515
305516
               
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