Many Helping Hands
'Life changing sum of money' is a term we hear quite often in poker. Playing for enormous prizes adds to the excitement and the allure of the game. It's one of the reasons we play. But as the game grows and more and more records are broken anyone could be forgiven for losing sight of the money and its potential. The sad truth is that in most parts of the world almost any amount of money can change a life when it's spent well.
Poker players talk about maximising value a lot. So, when we announced last month that we'd be donating all rake from the SCOOP $25,000 High Roller held on May 10 to Raising for Effective Giving (REG), as well as matching the first $50,000 raised, we knew we'd have your support. The event was a huge success for both players and REG, with 125 competitors coming together to raise $109,375 for charities identified by REG as being the most effective in their respective fields.
What we're particularly proud of is that this was far from an isolated event. For years, our players and our people have consistently demonstrated their concern for those in need and their willingness to act. Together we've donated more than $8 million to charities around the world. Our live charity events raised more than $320,000 in 2016 alone and players donated more than $60,000 in StarsCoin for global appeals. Most importantly, you've given us the ability to continue our commitments to global charities and the lives they change for years to come.
We're pleased to announce the publication of our 2016 Helping Hands Corporate Giving report, which details the wonderful things we achieved together in 2016 through Helping Hands, our corporate giving arm.
Highlights include our long-term partnership with the global charity Right To Play, which we were proud to extend in March for a further two years. Here you can read more about a fact-finding trip to Ghana with PokerStars' own Community Stars initiative, where we saw exactly the difference your generosity makes on the ground in some of the country's most deprived areas.
You can also read more about our partnership with CARE International and the ongoing response to our 2016 appeals to raise funds for the refugee crisis in Syria. Lads Night In also made a return last year, giving players the chance to get together and raise funds at home games across the UK, and secure bragging rights for the year to come. Then of course, there's Autism Speaks in New Jersey; a charity of special significance to PokerStars NJ and our team pros.
But that's just a snapshot. What we can't capture are the thousands of man-hours and enthusiasm needed to make these achievements happen. You're proving that making even the smallest donation or taking just a few minutes out of your day can add up to make a life-changing difference.
We hope you'll join us as we look forward to an even better 2017.
Sue Hammett is the Head of Corporate Giving