FAIRFIELD — A sold-out fundraiser by IAFF Firefighters Local Union No. 1186 to benefit Meals on Wheels in Solano County brought 100 poker players Wednesday to the banquet room of the Jelly Belly factory store site for some friendly Texas Hold ‘Em.
Fairfield Fire Department Capt. Bobby Silva coordinated the charity poker night that followed a request by Fairfield City Councilman John Mraz for help with Meals on Wheels after the program faced a funding cutback.
“This is a friendly game for charity,” Silva said. “Nobody’s cutthroat here.”
Robbie Engell, a firefighter and paramedic with the Fairfield Fire Department who helped check in players – all 21 years and older – explained that Texas Hold ‘Em involves two dealt cards and five community cards.
Cathy Hall, executive director of Meals on Wheels, said the program that serves more than 650 meals day in Solano County has been trying to raise money since automatic federal spending cuts known as sequestration reduced funding.
“Their support is unbelievable and so appreciated,” Hall said of the firefighters. “This is actually further than the expectations.”
She also thanked Jelly Belly for providing space for the event. The candy company is one of dozens who helped make the fundraiser happen.
Along with poker, a silent auction of memorabilia from pro athletes and musicians raised money. A raffle also occurred to benefit Meals on Wheels with its goal: “So no senior goes hungry.”
Chris Kay, an owner of Signature Casino Parties, host for the poker games, said the luck of good cards at the right time can make a successful player.
Engell said patience is a virtue in poker.
“That’s the biggest thing – being patient,” he said of success.
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