Competition Honors Fallen Friend

The Canadian Progress Club of St. Albert (CPC) raised money for several local charities while paying tribute to a fallen club member on April 17, with their 1st Annual Daryl Flory Memorial Poker Tournament. The event, held at Yellowhead Casino, attracted 77 players, and raised $3,000 for local charities that help underprivileged people in the community.

Flory, a long time club member who passed away recently, spearheaded their poker tournaments for years. Founded in 1973, CPC St. Albert “endeavors to enhance the lives of underprivileged and ailing individuals in our community with financial aid, event support and/or our time and resources.” They have raised over $4,000,000 for charities such as Uncles and Aunts at Large, Special Olympics, and KidsSport.

Uncles and Aunts formed in 1967 to provide mentoring for children from single parent families in the Edmonton area. Aimed at kids from six to 18, they have mentorship and group activities “designed to help children experience and expand their potential.” A variety of programs are available, including group, in-school, peer and one-on-one mentoring, opportunities for at-risk children and parent support groups.

Special Olympics held their first national competition in 1969, less than a year after the inaugural event in Chicago. Canadian broadcast legend Harry “Red” Foster witnessed that contest and led the charge to bring Special Olympics here. More than 36,000 children and adults are registered in 18 sports run by local clubs year round. Programs include track and field, five pin bowling, powerlifting, showshoeing, and curling.

With the belief that “all should be given the opportunity to experience the positive benefits of organized sports,” KidsSport helps remove financial barriers that often keep children from team sports. Adopted nationally in 1993, the organization works through 11 provincial and territorial chapters and over 175 community chapters. Seeking “to become a catalyst for healthier and more active children,” KidsSport may cover registration fees, equipment, leadership opportunities, sport camps and travel costs.

Tournament organizer Curtis Crouse says they used social networking, word of mouth, and Eventbrite for promotion, and that planning the sold out event was worth the work. “Daryl’s wife was there,” Crouse explains, “and she was very emotional and very grateful that we named the event after him and had poker chips made up to honor him. It was hard work gathering money for 77 poker seats, but it was rewarding because that is how Daryl would have done it and did do it in the past.”

How have you organized your memorial events?