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UPDATE: Yes I Can fundraiser is a Go Tonight

Poker tourney still needs players now to achieve Meltdown.

Posted: March 19, 2008 11:38 p.m.
Updated: May 30, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Here's the flyer for the March 29 Texas Hold'Em tourney, a fundraiser for the May 10 Summer Meltdown concert being produced by the students in the Hart district's Yes I Can program.

 

Saturday night's Texas Hold'Em tournament to benefit Yes I Can, the William S. Hart Union High School District's social-inclusion program for students with special needs, is a go.

"There is still plenty of space available, but spots are filling up fast," said Bret Lieberman, Yes I Can advisor program at Golden Valley High School.

The fundraiser at the Egg Plantation at 24415 Walnut Street at Lyons Ave. in Newhall starts at 6 p.m. with check-in and buffet dinner. Play starts at 7.

Proceeds will help the Yes I Can students stage their annual "Summer Meltdown Autism Awareness and Social Inclusion Concert," set for May 10 at Golden Valley's outdoor amphitheater.

The Texas Hold'Em tournament was close to folding last week, as not enough players had anted up.

Enough players have since joined the lineup to prevent cancellation, but Lieberman emphasizes the need for additional players is still critical.

Without the proceeds the poker tournament could generate, he said, the students will come up far short of the budget they need to produce the Meltdown concert.

"This is the biggest fundraiser we hold each year, and we need to sell it out in order to produce our fifth annual Summer Meltdown concert," he said.

"We estimate the concert will cost $13,000-$15,000 to produce, and we need the support of the community, because we're doing something groundbreaking here," he said. "Our slogan is 'Unity through Music and Education' and we are using music to break down social barriers."

The donation for the 21-and-older Texas Hold'Em tournament is $125 per player, and includes $1,000 in chips, a complete Egg Plantation buffet with adult beverages.

"Simon and Shannon and The Egg Plantation have once again donated the restaurant to the Yes I Can program to host the tournament, along with supplying an amazing six-course dinner buffet being served at 6 p.m. for all players," Lieberman said.

"The grand prize is a $1,000 gift card, and there are also great prizes for all players who make it to the final table," he said. 

Top prizes include Southwest Airlines tickets, Clippers tickets, Dodgers tickets above the dugout, Avengers tickets, a set of golf clubs, tickets to Magic Mountain and Knott's Berry Farm, a wine package for adults, a VIP card to MB2 Raceway, and more.

"The tournament will be run by the beautiful Dealer Dolls - check them out at www.dealerdolls.com," Lieberman said.

The Yes I Can students have booked red-hot Warner Bros. recording artists Trapt as headliners. "If the poker event doesn't sell out, we're screwed," Lieberman said, adding that Trapt is huge among teens and drew 5,000 kids to their most recent gig in central California. "Their kind of drawing power would help make the Meltdown concert a big success.

"We need to raise the funds to pay for Trapt and the other dozen or so bands who will be on the all-day Meltdown bill, plus rental of professional sound and lighting systems, generators, barricades, food for the performers and guests, the and posters and flyers we're producing to promote the concert," he said.

The Yes I Can program has made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of special-needs students. Most of them are very bright but suffer from a high-functioning form of autism called Aspergers Syndrome, which deeply inhibits communication and social skills.

"My students were lost when it came to fitting in due to having autism...now they pull out their iPods, talk about MTV bands and are just like any other kids on campus," Lieberman said. "Music can be a powerful tool and we talk about music every day in the 'Yes I Can' class at Golden Valley.

"We're like the 'School of Rock' meets concert production meets Autism Awareness!"

To sign up as a Texas Hold'Em player, contact Linda Ryan at (661) 713-2288 or e-mail lindaryan1@aol.com, or show up at the Egg Plantation at 6 tonight and sign up to fill any remaining seats.

"We are also still looking for Summer Meltdown sponsorships from anyone or any company that wants to be involved in this amazing event," Lieberman said. "It's never to late to help out by making a donation to our cause."

For more info about the Yes I Can program and Summer Meltdown, contact Lieberman at (661) 298-8140 ext. 1414 or visit www.sponsorthemeltdown.com.

The Signal is a proud sponsor of the Yes I Can's 2008 Summer Meltdown concert.

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