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March 09, 2009 - Know When to Hold'Em

What: CETAV 2009 Texas Hold'Em Poker Tournament

Where: Mile High Station

When: Thursday, March 12, 2009

Time: 5 p.m. cocktails; 6 p.m. Poker tournament

Ticket Prices: $100 for individual; $500 to participate in tourney, on up

Beneficiary: Cameron Ebel Teens Against Violence

EMCEE: Carole Schumacher and Todd Taylor

Staff: Kristine Turner, Terry Herzog, Claudia Larson, Nancy Nickoley

Catering: Whirled Peas Catering

Sponsors: Mordini Watters Capital Partners, Summit Field Services, Richard and Kim Beleson, on behalf of the DeShawn Dawson Scholarship Foundation, Whirled Peas Catering, EKS&H, Momentum Funding, BeneFactor Funding Corp., ZeroNines Technology, Inc., Hensley Kim & Holzer, LLC, Tessera Performance, and 1-Stop Electric

Menu: Cheese display: selection of cheeses presented on polished granite with crackers, pita crips and crostinis garnished with nuts and fruits; fresh fruit display: grapes, strawberries, pineapple, honeydew, cantaloupe and watermelon; Crudite display: baby carrots, celery, cucumber, red pepper and yellow pepper served with roasted shallot dip; caramelized onion and roasted vegetable quesadillas served with creme fraiche; smoky chicken quesadillas triangles with cheese, onions and peppers and drizzled with avocado creme fraiche; sesame and sweet soy glazed beef skewers complemented with peanut sauce; miniature twice baked potato bites with a variety of toppings including with truffled sweet potato puree and chives, caramelized onions and gorgonzola cheese, bacon and cheddar cheese, or chives and creme fraiche; mini meatball sliders: veal, pork and beef meatballs braised in marinara presented on sun-dried tomato focaccia rolls; chicken salad choux puffs: chicken salad with red grapes, swiss cheese, celery and onion served on a choux puff pastry; grilled bruschetta bread topped with an asparagus, red pepper and parmesan salsa

Attendance: 200

Attire: Business casual

Board of Directors: Gary Ebel, co-founder and chair; Laura Ebel, co-founder; Pastor David L. Jensen, Chief Executive Officer; Vikki Luce, Associate Director; Robert D. Mordini, Jr., Associate Director

Blacktie Photos by: Danielle Corriveau

 CETAV co-founders Gary and Laura Ebel, left, Bob Mordini, Dan Watters, and Jill Mordini enjoy the evening together
CETAV co-founders Gary and Laura Ebel, left, Bob Mordini, Dan Watters, and Jill Mordini enjoy the evening together

Most fundraising events would shy away from words like “flop”, “tilt” or “dead money.” But these terms come with Texas Hold’Em and were part of the fun of the Cameron Ebel Teens Against Violence Texas Hold’Em Tournament. In the end, several people left with outstanding door prizes and silent auction items, three people exited holding silver “star” trophies, and everyone departed with bragging rights about a night of good play for a great cause. The tournament was the organization’s fifth fundraiser and the first of its kind for the group.
“When we came together to start the planning we knew we wanted to do something different,” said CETAV Co-Founder and Chair Gary Ebel. Bob Mordini of Mordini Watters Capital Partners dealt the answer.
“We wanted something that was fun and casual where people didn’t have to dress up, sit down for dinner,” said Mordini and with a glance around the room he added, “This is perfect. Everyone is having a really good time.” He couldn’t have been more right. His statement was backed up by cheers and table-community “ohs” that come from hands well-played or collective sympathy for a player who just didn’t get good cards. 
The open area of Mile High Station looked a little Las Vegas with 15 poker tables bordered with eight players to 10 players. Kevin Eitiear of 1-stop Electric took overall honors, followed by Tim Colleran of Kentwood Companies who won second place, and Stephen Pitts of Tessera Performance who took home the third place trophy.
Blackjack tables lined the side of the room for folks who didn’t feel comfortable playing in the larger tournament. CETAV Co-Founder Laura Ebel moved to the other game after being knocked-out early in Texas Hold’Em.
“The dealer told me I went out on the perfect hand to go out on,” relayed Ebel. Lending condolences and substantiating her statement, her husband, CETAV Co-Founder and Chair Gary Ebel agreed she had to bet big based on her cards. This unwavering support for one another is the foundation of CETAV.
Gary and Laura Ebel founded CETAV after they tragically lost their son to teen violence. In July 2001, at the age of 15, Cameron Ebel was killed by a peer over an insignificant disagreement. Mustering courage and commitment to change the statistics about teen violence, the Ebels launched CETAV with the mission of helping young people put an end to violence by teaching them tolerance and respect for human life.
Through CETAV Youth Leadership Summits students learn to infuse the message of nonviolence into their schools and community. The summits boldly address issues of racism, bigotry, bullying, sexism, scape-goating, stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination. Last year, CETAV held Student Leadership Summits at 19 schools in the Douglas County School District, reaching over 2,000 students. The results are clear. A 2005 DCSD Senior Survey reported a 22% increase in tolerance and a 25% decrease in tolerance issues at schools that held CETAV summits.

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