BOSTON -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- New England professional poker player Bernard Lee will donate holiday packages worth about $200 each to more than 50 children in the Lawrence, Mass., area as part of The Full House Charity Program, on Dec. 20.
The program provides a minimum of $10,000 annually to organizations across New England that focus on needy children. Chili's Grill and Bar Restaurants and poker apparel company RunGoodGear.com are co-sponsors.
"I hope these packages make the holidays a little brighter for these deserving families. My family and I look forward to this special night every year, when we can help spread the joy of the holiday season," said Lee, a Wayland, Mass., resident whose son and daughter will help him hand out the packages. "The sole purpose of the Full House Charity Program Giving is to give back to the community and put smiles on the faces of these children and their families."
Lee and his children will visit the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, 73D Winthrop Avenue, Lawrence, Mass., at 5 p.m., where they will meet with and hand out the packages to over 20 families and more than 50 children.
"Bernard’s gift giving has become a wonderful tradition for our Empowerment Group Program participants and their families at GLFHC. The children really appreciate his thoughtfulness and generosity with the gifts he gives," said Dr. Jeffrey S. Geller, director of Integrative Medicine and Group Programs at the health center. "We also appreciate his message of pursuing something you love as a career, as passion is perhaps the most powerful motivational force in our lives."
Each family will receive gift certificates that will cover the cost of a family meal at Chili's. Every child will receive a holiday package that includes Chili's drawstring sports sacks, winter clothing including RunGoodGear.com sweatshirts, books that include Sports Illustrated for Kids magazines, board games, sports balls and toys. Many of the toys and games were donated by the Eastern Poker Tour, which hosts pub poker tournaments across New England. Lee received and honored specific requests from every child.
Lee's charity program, launched in February 2011, provides a minimum of $10,000 worth of goods and fundraising annually to children-focused organizations in the New England area.
"As poker players here in the office we are big fans of karma. We've been blessed this year with the support of so many to get us where we are today," said Tana Karn, president and CEO of RunGoodGear.com, an Oklahoma-based poker apparel company. "When Bernard asked us to get involved with The Full House Charity, it was an instant call."
Chili's is very involved with community giving and partners with non-profits on Give Back Nights, when Chili's shares 10 percent of the evening's proceeds to the organization.
"Joining Bernard and partnering with the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center is a way for us to reach out and help provide an enjoyable holiday for parents and children alike. This is our second season and Chili's appreciates the opportunity to participate in providing some holiday cheer," said Patrick McClelland, area director of Chili's-Pepper Dining.
Lee has won over $2 million and three titles on the tournament circuit and was earlier this year named to RunGoodGear's team. The Harvard University and Babson College graduate worked as a senior marketing/new business development manager at a Massachusetts Fortune 500 company before finishing 13th — New England's top finisher — in the 2005 World Series of Poker. Recognized as "the voice of poker in New England" by Cardplayer.com, Lee is known worldwide as a poker media personality.
The Bernard Lee Poker Show is simulcast on Rounders Radio, www.roundersradio.com, one of the largest online poker talk radio station in the world with listeners in more than 85 countries, and is also available via podcast on iTunes. The show incorporates interviews with poker players and prominent industry personnel with poker news and tips as well.
A poker writer for ESPN.com, Card Player and All-In magazines, Lee was recently the lead commentator for the WSOP Circuit livestream, which was seen on ESPN3.com and WSOP.com. His two books, The Final Table, Volume I and Volume II, are compilations of the Sunday Boston Herald poker columns he penned for seven years. Lee is also a poker instructor and commentator for the WSOP and New England’s Eastern Poker Tour. Lee is a former co-host of ESPN.com’s weekly online poker show, "ESPN Inside Deal."
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