Bet on Local Kids' Agency
Children’s lives are nothing to gamble on, yet several
hundred students will gather in the Campus Center Carroll
Room this Saturday, March 31, to place bets on a local agency’s
work with kids.
That is, attendees of “Aces High,” a poker game
benefit event, will play Blackjack and Texas hold-’em
poker to raise money for Friends of Children, a Florence
organization that provides mentoring, advocacy and community
education for at-risk youth.
The event, which will take place from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.,
will include refreshments, a cash bar and a deejay spinning
tunes. Admission is free, but for a suggested $5 donation
to Friends of Children, participants can get $3,000 worth
of poker chips, and will receive 10 tickets for a raffle
drawing to win prizes, including some donated by Northampton
“Aces High” originated as a collaboration between
the senior and Ada Comstock Scholars class cabinets
and the student organization Adas Helping Adas, says Kara
Kharmah ’07, who is the Ada class senior representative.
But it has since expanded to include the three other class
cabinets as well as student organizations Smith Kids Connection
and Service Organizations of Smith.
“This event is the first of its kind,” says
Kharmah. “It is the first to be put on in collaboration
with all five class cabinets.”
Event organizers chose
Friends of Children as a beneficiary of proceeds because
of its demonstrated positive impact on the lives of local
children through several needed programs, Kharmah said.
The agency was founded in 1988 when concerned citizens
began fundraising to support local children’s
programs. When the state government closed its child advocacy
agency, the Office for Children, Friends of Children refocused
on advocacy for kids in western Massachusetts.
Its programs include: assigning Court-Appointed Special
Advocates; Adolescent Advocacy Mentoring Project, in which
more than 100 foster children are partnered with adult mentors;
Child Advocacy Program; the Foster Dignity Project, which
provides children moving among foster programs with backpacks
and duffel bags to carry their belongings, instead of trash
bags; and Community Education.
“It had been a goal of the Ada Class cabinet to create
a project to support this organization as a public service
project for our class,” said Kharmah.
for more information on Friends of Children.