Big Eighth Happy House Texas Holdem Fun-Raiser!

Jun 13, 2013

The 8th annual Happy House Poker Fundraiser and Family BBQ at Nancy Cartwright’s home on June 1st was a big success! This year we had more players than ever before with 20 full poker tables. We raised highest ever donations and we had more people attending than ever before; roughly 400.

This was a huge turnout to have family fun, play poker and support Happy House and the Good Choices Program. We had face painting, a bouncy house and water slide, ping pong tournament, arts and crafts and we added croquet and Hawaiian Shaved Ice by Get Shaved to keep us cool in the mid day heat. All of this rocked to the back-beat of Tony St Tone and his band and Dee Dee O’Malley, with Size Seven Hat.

Perhaps the biggest news this year was our sponsors. Key contributions came again from Innovative Artists, Origin Oil, Wiseman & Burke, Casino Entertainment Industries and All Valley Rentals, and we had highest-ever contributions from LA Racing Experience and the Irwindale Speedway for racing tickets and a July 4th fireworks spectacular. Joining our sponsors this year was 20th Century FOX and Fox TV for cash donations AND some wonderful show passes, along with Universal, with passes to Universal Studios tours and rides.

Our new “best friend” is Whole Foods Market, Porter Ranch! Just a week before the event they stepped up BIG TIME and provided us with healthy, wholesome food and beverages that everyone at the party was talking about. They REALLY made the event a winner this year for all and we can’t thank them enough! Thank you Ashley Johnson and the team!

And take a look at this extraordinary list of contributors for 2013: Generous first time cash donations came in from The Jett Foundation, Dr. Peter Porasik, Dr. Michael Goldberg, Melinda Brownstone and Claudia Pieri. Donated prizes arrived seemingly daily from various individuals and companies: LAPD Lt. Mike Burditt—the Shaq jersey; Dream Dinners of Northridge—a wonderful home sampler; Valerie Cachola of Asana Chiropractic brought two massage therapists; Frank Czajka of Laugh Factory—100 tickets; Cass Warner & Warner Bros.—a VIP tour; Devonshire PALS—a Player Pass for their upcoming golf tournament; West Valley Boys & Girls Club—4 Disney Hopper tickets; Pro Poker player, Kenna James—a Pro Training Package; The Granada Hills Chamber—a Pass to their upcoming poker fundraiser; and Hollywood Tours—a Limo Pass for 6! We received some Dodger tickets for an upcoming game from Ray Lambert, ice from Tavern Ice, a basket from My Gym, discount certificates from Humblebee Bakery and Frankie’s Italian Kitchen and hundreds of extraordinary desserts from the amazing Buttercelli Bakery in Sherman Oaks!

Patti Miller also brought in delightful beignets, several dozen, and if you haven’t had them… you have missed out!

Show tickets and swag were in abundance for prizes this year. NCIS, The Office, So You Think You Can Dance, The Teen Choice Awards, Criminal Minds, Supernatural and two great additions this year -Valley Performing Arts Center at CSUN Tickets and tickets to an upcoming Michael Buble concert along with signed merchandise and his entire catalog—from To Be Loved extraordinary artist himself !

In the poker area, we had upwards of 170 players and the man to emerge as top dog for 2013 was Kim Schneider. This was his third final table so this proves that persistence wins! Mike Armstrong finished a strong second, and the top four players all got Grand Prizes which included a Simpsons Table Read, The July 4th fireworks extravaganza at the Irwindale Speedway, a poker package including the lesson from Kenna James and the four Disney Hopper Tickets.

It was truly a year for winners.

We couldn’t have made this event possible without the help of more than 70 volunteers and staff, so we would like to thank them for their time and all of their work. Many deserve note but some key standouts were Darlene Kamberg who brilliantly planned, set up and served the food and Sue Levy for her extraordinary work coordinating the volunteers; Julia Patton for her great work with the sponsors; and Gary Thomas and Jan Sobel, the best Boys and Girls Club friends we could ever ask for. Hat’s off to our entire cadre at Happy House with Courtney Kowitz, Carol Loweree, Marty and Bobbi Kassowitz, Kathie Heard, Janelle Hynes, Garrett Word, Monica Gil, Gabriel Olague, Yvonne Natividad and Carlos Garcia, Bobbi Brunoehler (and her entire family!), Patty Riemer, Maribel Luvian and Blanca Guerrero. (If your name isn’t up here… know that the team of volunteers on this event was STELLAR and you are each dearly appreciated!)

After the event, Nancy said, “Happy House was founded to Build Better Families and on this date, June 1st, our “family” really did a fantastic job along with all the sponsors and guests to really make this event memorable.”

Good Choices is an after-school program for youth that provides a very simple, workable way to make better choices in life and survive in a dangerous environment. Cheers to a Good Choices Generation! To find out more go to

See you next year!


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