Greg Maddux, Roger Clemens, Daniel Carlson, Deryk Engelland and Many More Came Together in Las Vegas to Support the Foundation
Circa Resort & Casino and legendary baseball pitcher Greg Maddux hosted the Baller Dream Celebrity Poker Tournament at the resort’s 60th floor cocktail lounge Legacy Club.
The charity event raised over $175,000 for Baller Dream Foundation through a celebrity poker tournament, in which retired professional football player Evan Mathis was victorious.
“We are ecstatic that we were able to raise these much-needed funds for the Baller Dream Foundation to support young cancer warriors,” said host Greg Maddux. “A huge thank you goes out to all the athletes and celebrities who joined us for this three-day event. This wouldn’t have been possible without their support.”
The poker tournament featured cash prizes for first through fifth place with Evan Mathis winning the grand prize of $75,000. Additional winners included Joe Lucia, Jim Wright, Shaun Colquhoun and Dan Bower. During the poker tournament, attendees were also able to bid on silent auction items that included exclusive, autographed memorabilia, international vacations and more. The silent auction raised $70,000 for the Foundation.
All funds raised from this event will stay local to Las Vegas and help Baller Dream Foundation provide community programming where cancer warriors feel supported and celebrated. Funds raised also will provide financial support to families experiencing a cancer diagnosis.
CEO of Circa Derek Stevens said, “Not only was the poker tournament a great time, but we were able to raise a significant amount of funds for the Baller Dream Foundation. Our team is grateful to be a part of something that will make a difference in many lives.”
Celebrities involved in the tournament included:
- Host Greg Maddux, baseball
- AJ Cole, football
- Bernie Nicholls, hockey
- Bruce Thomas, actor
- Daniel Carlson, football
- Darren Banks, hockey
- Derrek Lee, baseball
- Deryk Engelland, hockey
- Evan Mathis, football
- Frank Thomas, baseball
- Garrett Bradbury, football
- Goose Gossage, baseball
- Jake Arrieta, baseball
- Kenny Lofton, baseball
- Noel Gugliemi, actor
- Roger Clemens, baseball
- Rollie Fingers, baseball
- Shane Victorino, baseball
- Shaun King, football
- Tito Ortiz, mixed martial arts
- Wally Joyner, baseball
Before the poker tournament, celebrity guests took part in a private dining experience at Circa’s secluded steakhouse Barry’s Downtown Prime. Restaurant goers dined on steaks, seafood and more prepared by famed local Chef Barry Dakake. Guests also attended a kickoff party at the resort’s year-round, multi-tiered pool amphitheater, Stadium Swim. All in attendance were able to catch the day’s games on the 143-foot diagonal viewing screen and relax in one of the venue’s cabanas.
Baller Dream Foundation was founded by Frank DeBlasi, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the age of 29. He was fortunate to have a wonderful support network of family, friends and co-workers and he promised himself that if he survived, he would build a foundation for young people battling cancer. Now cancer-free, Frank kept his promise and created Baller Dream Foundation, which recognizes the critical need for emotional and daily living support that is not available to all young warriors battling cancer. Baller Dream works closely with children’s hospitals across the country and provides in-hospital, volunteer-led activities to help ease the minds of warriors and support their families.
About Circa Resort & Casino
Get ready for the time of your life at Circa Resort & Casino, an adults-only casino-resort concept in the heart of downtown Las Vegas. The AAA Four Diamond Circa pays homage to Vegas’ Golden Era through vintage design, old-school hospitality and nods to the city’s history while introducing high-tech advancements and innovative amenities.
The resort features upscale rooms and suites; the world’s largest sportsbook; Stadium Swim, a year-round pool aqua theater; a two-story casino; Garage Mahal, a high-tech transportation hub; the luxe Legacy Club rooftop lounge; an expansive local art collection; 35,000 sq. ft of meetings and conventions space and more.
Guests can indulge at original restaurant concepts including premium steaks and seafood at Barry’s Downtown Prime from Chef Barry S. Dakake and Make It Happen Hospitality; Pan-Asian fare at 8 East from Chef Dan Coughlin; deli classics at Saginaw’s Delicatessen from restaurateur Paul Saginaw; authentic Carolina barbecue at Project BBQ; and all-star menus at Victory Burger & Wings Co. from the founding family of American Coney Island.
Visit circalasvegas.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @circalasvegas to stay up to date.
About Baller Dream Foundation
Baller Dream Foundation supports pediatric and young adult cancer warriors, ages 0-29, through treatment, remission, and beyond. The young people served by Baller Dream Foundation (BDF) are not called patients but instead “Ballers” Baller is a modern-day term used to describe someone incredibly resilient, courageous, and at the top of their game.
Baller Dream develops lasting relationships to create an environment where kids feel supported, families feel connected, and communities feel inspired. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on donations to keep our programs running. Children and young adults battling cancer are facing tremendous adversity that begins with the initial diagnosis and often continues for years after that. Baller Dream Foundation aims to support these brave young warriors when and where they need it most.
Our intention is for each family to realize they are not alone in their fight against cancer. Giving hope to children and families is our goal so families can lean on us at all stages of their journey. 84% of families with a child battling cancer will experience financial hardship. Baller Dream Foundation provides various levels of support to alleviate these stressors that families often encounter throughout their cancer journey.
Through generous donations, Baller Dream Foundation also curates personalized “Dream Experiences” for qualifying recipients. These major gift experiences range from dream vacations, celebrity meet-and-greets, VIP access at sporting events, and many other once-in-a-lifetime adventures thanks to our partnerships. Baller Dream assists families experiencing extreme financial hardship due to their child’s illnesses. We help with medical expenses, clothing, utilities, and other essentials. Funds are carefully allocated after a complete evaluation of the family’s needs on a case-by-case basis.
A cancer diagnosis’s social and emotional side effects can often generate feelings of isolation. Through Baller Dream’s community programming, they aim to create an environment where our ballers feel a sense of belonging and their families feel supported by the community. Ensuring the safety of these children and young adults is fundamental to the mission of Baller Dream
We rely on the expertise of our partnering children’s hospitals, child life specialists, social workers, and oncology nurses to identify the cancer warriors who are in need of a special lift.