Charity Play

 

I began the Charity Play of the Week promotion in March of 2012 as an extension of my own personal gift-giving philosophy. For over 20 years I've been a consistent contributor to nationally recognized charitable organizations like St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Special Olympics, among others. But, at the same time, I also found myself sending donations to total strangers whose stories I read about in newspapers across the nation while researching and handicapping games.


While giving away money that I personally made from being in this business, it dawned on me that I could create a community of givers from those that gamble using my advice and that of the handicappers at this site. 


The word "gambling" and the entire sports handicapping industry has been tarnished by the countless, unscrupulous carnival barkers who have been operating high-pressure, 800 boilerroom operations for the better part of three decades. However, having built and operated the largest 100% online sports handicapping business in the world, I always felt there was some greater good that could be accomplished while enjoying what we do for recreation. 


Back in 2012 while handicapping games I came across the story of a father with two special-needs children in Texas who was battling terminal cancer. There was a fund-raising effort started to collect money for his eventual funeral expenses and his family's well-being. I immediately made my own personal donation but then started thinking about how I could get our customers involved as well. The Charity Play of the Week program was thus born when I gave away my Best Bet the following day for Free with the stipulation that if it won I was going to put up a link to the fund-raising site and ask customers - strictly on an anonymous, honor-based level - to make a contribution. If it lost, however, there would be no solicitation since this is, after all, gambling.


The play did in fact win and the outpouring of support from my customers was amazing. The amount of the donation wasn't important as I asked them to make whatever contribution they could afford. And, as I explained to them, I was starting the program because I personally felt one could never have enough positive karma in one's life, not just in this thing we do called gambling. 


As I have often told you frequently since the program was born, karma is not something that can be picked at the supermarket or dropped off at your door like the morning paper. You need to create it and the good will this program has generated is proof positive. 


Since the program's inception, I have given away over $3.4 million (yes, MILLION) worth of selections at the site (through late-September 2013). And the response has been overwhelming because so many of you - loyal patrons at this site - have helped so many strangers in need of financial assistance when their chips are down. 


That is what building a community of givers is all about. 

 

Yes, a COMMUNITY, because without your participation this program doesn't exist.

 

For those of you new to the program, once a week I'm going to pick one hot handicapper and give away his play for free. Then if it wins - and if you win - I'm going to ask you to make a donation to a family, group or organization that needed financial support.

 

The amount of the donation is inconsequential; $5, $15 or $500 - it doesn't matter as long as you participate in this quid pro quo program. The donations would be strictly on the honor system; I have no idea who you are or how much you contribute. And I have no idea whether those getting the free plays are in fact making a contribution. I'm simply going on my belief that there is honor among gamblers and that those of you participating are helping others in turn.

 

For those who have joined me in helping others, my sincere thanks. For those of you that participate and don't donate, I don't know how you can face yourself in the mirror each day.

 

Regards,

 

Al DeMarco,

General Manager

 


CHARITY PLAY OF THE WEEK UPDATES

 

I've told you that I become personally invested in every family and/or organization that we've helped. Not just from a financial standpoint, either. It takes me a couple of hours following a winning release to sort through all the different fund raising sites seeking support. It's not fun reading about so much despair and I don't like "playing God," choosing one family or group over another.

 

After I make a selection, I like to keep track of how those on the receiving end are doing. Sometimes it's great news.... and sometimes not. We are often dealing with life and death situations here.

 

Below I will keep you updated on a number of past families and/or groups we have helped along the way.

 


APRIL 3, 2013

 

Mason Helwig is a little guy who suffers from a disease called XLP. This rare disorder affects less than one child in a million and strikes males only with nearly 75 percent of those failing to live past 10-years-old. The best treatment is a bone marrow transplant and Mason - who is expected to be hospitalized in Ohio for six months - will be receiving chemotherapy as he prepares for a transplant. 

 

Here's the original link to follow his story: https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/fRt98

 

Thanks to your support, this family met its goal. His mother posted this note of appreciation:

 

Tiffany Marcum Helwig

 

amazing!!!!!!!!! everyone has been sooo amazing!!!!!!! thank you thank you thank you!!! what a wonderful world we live in where complete strangers can come together and help!!!! very inspiring i thank you so much!


And our Customer Service Department received this email from Mason's great aunt:


Donations of $5, $10, and $15 have been coming in through the FundRaizer link you shared. Thank you so very, very much! The family appreciates your support and kindness.

 


MARCH 28, 2013

 

There's a six-year-old boy by the name of Fin who has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy. From what I read, it's the most severe form of the disease because it affects all four limbs and the trunk and usually has other associated problems as well.


Here's are pictures of Fin at this link:


https://www.facebook.com/pages/Finlan-Renzo/229655771219?id=229655771219&sk=photos_stream


Fin's family wanted to purchase a a wheelchair bicycle tandem, which you can see here:


http://www.frankmobility.com/duetfeat.php


They began a fund-raising campaign and thought they had hit their goal to purchase the bike only to discover they were still around $2,000 short. Talk about getting backdoored. But unlike in our business, we were able to change the final result and turn a loss into a win by helping their cause at this link:


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0Rg3e

 

Feel good about yourself if you donated by watching the touching videos from Fin and his father expressing their appreciation and gratitude at:


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/0Rg3e

 


MARCH 21, 2013

 

Four-year-old Zaiden Hauter was diagnosed with a Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma in October of 2012. He completed six rounds of chemo - which unfortunately didn't work - and is now scheduled to head to New York on May 17 for surgery as doctors will attempt to remove most of the cancer that is currently on the front part of his spine. After that surgery, he will have another high dose chemo treatment in hopes of killing the cancer cells in his bone marrow.

 

Zaiden's family needed some financial assistance to cover their trip to New York and the resulting stay. You know as well as I do that insurance simply doesn't cover everything.

 

You can read about their plight here:


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/fRwJc


You can also follow Zaiden's journey through the family's Facebook page at:


http://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-Zaiden/479236032128700


What struck me on this page is how many other small children are fighting cancer for their lives as their struggles were noted by Zaiden's mother.

 


MARCH 14, 2013

 

Kristin Van Daalen is a 31-year-old mother with three young daughters - ages 7 and 4 (twins) - who can no longer work because of chronic kidney disease and resulting renal failure. Without a kidney transplant, which she is awaiting, she will die.


Unable to work any longer, she needed some financial support to get her through this time of need and that's where you came in.


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/5SXk3

 


MARCH 7, 2013

 

Tytus Meister is a 9-year-old boy from Montana who was diagnosed in September with a rare cancer-like autoimmune disease called Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.


He began radiation treatment in Seattle on February 26. The family was then on its fourth 500-mile trip from Montana to Seattle for a hospital visit in the past five months and second in three weeks. Needless to say, they need some financial help to make ends meet for all the expenses that insurance doesn't cover.


Here is the donation page to make a contribution:


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/cRAje


And you can follow the day-to-day updates from this family on their journey right here:


https://www.facebook.com/atrekwithtytus

 

 

Here is a note from Tytus's mother that was posted to their site. Although addressed to me, it's meant for all of YOU that help defray their journey's costs.

 

As we sit waiting on more results from tests, and other forks in the road that we didn't anticipate, you somehow managed to lift our spirits in a huge way. We can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and what you've done. We didn't expect it, I was lucky enough to figure out where all these were coming from. This is special, and we won't ever forget! THANK YOU!

Update - On April 8, his mother posted the following:

 

Tytus is doing absolutely AWESOME. He's spending less and less time in his brace and starts physical therapy soon! We recheck with ortho, and neurosurgery in June! 

 


FEBRUARY 21, 2013

 

Ashley Britton's little girl, Zoe, has been plagued by numerous health issues since she was three months old, among them seizures, elevated spinal pressure and inter-cranial pressure. But countless tests run by her medical team in the Kansas City area had not been able to shed light on the underlying cause(s) let alone a solution. Her doctors had recommended a trip to the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota and this family was seeking financial assistance to defray some of the costs involved with medical care and travel.


https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/bOrka


You take one look at that little girl and tell me how you could refuse to help?

 


FEBRUARY 14, 2013

 

Nathan Klinkhammer, age 27, of Beaumont, Texas, underwent cancer surgery for a second time in two years on his knee as he had a tumor removed. In a cruel twist of irony, he is a floor installer by trade. Needless to say, he was going to be out of work for quite a while with no way to support his wife and two young girls as he embarked on a 15-week, five-day-a-week radiation course.

 

https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/1R6j9


The creator of this family's fund-raising page posted this remark....

 

We cannot thank each and every one of you enough for your unbelievable support during this time. You are all truly amazing, and we pray God will bless you and your family as you have so graciously blessed Nathan's.

 

And on February 27, this great news was added....

 

Thank you to everyone for the kindness you've shown Nathan and support of his battle. I hope he doesn't mind, but I'd like to tell you just how amazing Nathan and Misty are, and tell you what your money helped support. With funds generated from all of our fundraisers, they were able to pay the bills through the duration of his radiation. They had a little leftover. Meanwhile Nathan continues treatment, where he met an 8-year-old girl with a brain tumor. Her mom works for Walmart; her father unemployed. Nathan and Misty gave the leftover money to her family. You have touched many lives, friends.

 

And on March 5, Nathan posted this....

 

Great news! My 15-18 weeks of treatment ends Friday. My white blood count is great, CT scans show nothing abnormal, all blood work is great. As of right now, I'm cancer free again!

 


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Help Charity Play of the Week Discount Picks
Time Teams Score Stat Open Hilton Grande Carib CRIS Coast
College Basketball - College Basketball - Tuesday, February 21, 2017
6:00 PM 501 Rhode Island
502 La Salle
67
56

Final
-3½
147½
-3½
147½
-3½
-4-15
147½
-3½
147½
-3½
149
6:00 PM 503 Purdue
504 Penn State
74
70
OT
Final
-7-22
146½u15
-7½
147
-7
-7
147u15
-7-22
146½u15
-7½
147
7:00 PM 505 Oklahoma
506 Baylor
54
60

Final
137
-13-05
137
-12½
137
-12
136½
-12½
137
-13-05
137
-13
7:00 PM 507 Clemson
508 Virginia Tech
70
71

Final
-1
154o15
154
pk
154o15
pk
154
pk
-1
154o15
153½
-1
7:00 PM 509 Auburn
510 LSU
98
75

Final
-3½
171½
-3½
172
-3½
173
-3½
170o15
-3½
171½
-3½
172
7:00 PM 511 South Carolina
512 Florida
66
81

Final
136½
-7½-05
136½
-7½
136
-7½
136½
-8-05
136½
-7½-05
136½
-8
7:00 PM 513 Northern Illinois
514 Central Michigan
89
66

Final
166o15
-3-15
167
-3½

-3½
165o15
-3-05
166o15
-3-15
167½
-4
7:00 PM 515 Western Michigan
516 Toledo
61
56
OT
Final
158½u18
-5½
158
-5½

-5½
158½
-5½
158½u18
-5½
158½
-5½
7:00 PM 517 Kent State
518 Buffalo
77
69

Final
153½
-7-08
153½
-7
 
-7
153½
-7
153½
-7-08
154
-7
7:00 PM 519 Ohio
520 Miami Ohio
79
62

Final
-7
148½u15
-7
148½
-6½-15
-6½-15
148½
-7
148½u15
-7
149
7:00 PM 521 Eastern Michigan
522 Ball State
72
79

Final
153½
-2½-08
154
-2½

-2½-15
153½
-2½
153½
-2½-08
154½
-3
7:00 PM 523 Cleveland State
524 Detroit
83
91

Final
-2½-15
147
-2½
146½
-2½
 
-2½
146o15
-2½-15
147
-2½
147½
7:00 PM 525 Wright State
526 Northern Kentucky
76
83

Final
149o15
-3-15
149
-3
 
-3
148½o15
-3
149o15
-3-15
149
-3
7:00 PM 527 Youngstown State
528 Oakland
72
101

Final
163
-13½-15
164
-13½

-13½
164
-14
163
-13½-15
164
-13½
7:00 PM 529 George Mason
530 Dayton
70
83

Final
145
-12½
145
-12½

-12
144½
-12½
145
-12½
145
-12½
8:00 PM 531 Wisc Milwaukee
532 Valparaiso
61
67

Final
135
-13½
135½
-13½
 
-13½
135½o15
-13½
135
-13½
135½
-14
8:00 PM 533 Wisc Green Bay
534 Illinois Chicago
87
79

Final
-2½
160½u15
-2½
160
-2½-05
-2½
161u15
-2½
160½u15
-2½
160½
8:00 PM 535 Evansville
536 Wichita State
83
109

Final
141½
-21
141½
-21

-21
141
-21
141½
-21
141½
-21
8:00 PM 537 Davidson
538 Richmond
76
84

Final
150
pk
149½
pk
-1
149o15
-1
150
pk
149½
pk
8:00 PM 539 Nc State
540 Georgia Tech
71
69

Final
145½
-2½-14
145½
-3

-3-05
146u15
-2½
145½
-2½-14
146
-3
8:00 PM 541 St. John's
542 Marquette
71
93

Final
165
-9½
165
-9½
165½
-9½
165o15
-9½
165
-9½
165
-9½
8:05 PM 543 Northwestern
544 Illinois
50
66

Final
-2½
134½
-2½
135
-2½
135
-2½
135
-2½
134½
-2½
134½
9:10 PM 545 Indiana
546 Iowa
90
96
OT
Final
pk-15
160
-1
159½
159½
pk
158½o15
pk
pk-15
160
159½
pk
9:00 PM 547 Kentucky
548 Missouri
72
62

Final
-16½-15
154
-16½
154
-17
154½
-16
154
-16½-15
154
-16½
154½
9:00 PM 549 Mississippi
550 Mississippi St
87
82
OT
Final
151½o15
-2½
151½
-2½
151½
-2½
152u15
-1½
151½o15
-2½
152
-2
9:10 PM 551 Akron
552 Bowling Green
65
66

Final
-6
153
-6
153½
-5½
 
-6
153½
-6
153
-6
154
9:05 PM 553 East Carolina
554 Tulane
76
73

Final
141
-1½
140½
-2
140½
-2
139½o15
-2-05
141
-1½
140
-2
10:10 PM 555 Colorado State
556 New Mexico
68
56

Final
143½o12
-1-15
143½
-1

pk
143
-1½
143½o12
-1-15
143
-1
College Basketball - Added Game - Tuesday, February 21, 2017
7:00 PM 557 Monmouth
558 Fairfield
82
62

Final
-5½-15
160
-5½
159½
-5½
-5½
160
-5½-15
160
-6
159
College Basketball - College Basketball - Wednesday, February 22, 2017
6:30 PM 701 Michigan
702 Rutgers
    -8-05
129½
-7½
 
 
 
-7½
 
-8-05
129½
-7½
130
6:30 PM 703 Vanderbilt
704 Tennessee
    144½
-3½
 
-3
 
 

-3-15
144½
-3½
144
-3
7:00 PM 705 Saint Louis
706 Va Commonwealth
    132½
-21-05
 
-21½
 
 

-21½-05
132½
-21-05
130½
-21½
7:00 PM 707 Northern Iowa
708 Indiana State
    126½
-1

pk
 
 

pk
126½
-1
-1
124½
7:00 PM 709 So Illinois
710 Illinois State
    129u15
-9-15

-10½
 
 

-10½-05
129u15
-9-15
129½
-10½
7:00 PM 711 TCU
712 Kansas
    150
-13-05
 
-13
 
 

-12½
150
-13-05
149½
-13
7:00 PM 713 Depaul
714 Georgetown
    141½
-13-15

-13
 
 
 
-13½
141½
-13-15
142½
-13½
7:00 PM 715 Pittsburgh
716 Wake Forest
    157½o15
-6

-6
 
 

-6
157½o15
-6
156½
-6
7:00 PM 717 Xavier
718 Seton Hall
     
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7:00 PM 719 St. Bonaventure
720 St. Joseph's
    -5
146½
-5½
 
 
 
-5½
 
-5
146½
-5½
146
7:00 PM 721 Fordham
722 Duquesne
    137
-1½
 
-1
 
 
 
-1
137
-1½
135½
-1
7:00 PM 723 Duke
724 Syracuse
    -4-05
149½u15
-4
 
 
-4
-4-05
149½u15
-4
149
7:00 PM 725 Central Florida
726 Temple
    136
-2-15

-2
 
 
 
-2
136
-2-15
133½
-2
8:00 PM 727 Drake
728 Loyola Chicago
    142o15
-12-05

-12½
 
 
 
-12
142o15
-12-05
143½
-12
8:00 PM 729 Missouri St
730 Bradley
    -2½
133½
-2½
 
 
 
-2½
 
-2½
133½
-2½
134
8:30 PM 731 Minnesota
732 Maryland
    142
-4
 
-4
 
 

-4½
142
-4
141
-4
8:30 PM 733 Texas A&m
734 Arkansas
    148½
-5

-5
 
 

-5
148½
-5
147½
-5
9:00 PM 735 Oklahoma State
736 Kansas State
    151½
-2½
 
-2½
 
 

-2-15
151½
-2½
153½
-2½
9:00 PM 737 Providence
738 Creighton
    150
-8
 
-8
 
 

-8
150
-8
147½
-8
9:00 PM 739 Connecticut
740 Houston U
    132
-7-05
 
-6½
 
 
 
-6½
132
-7-05
132
-6½
9:00 PM 741 Unlv
742 Air Force
    144
-3½

-3½
 
 

-3½
144
-3½
144½
-4
9:00 PM 743 Oregon
744 California
    -4
134
-3½
 
 
-3½-15
-4
134
-3½
130½
9:00 PM 745 Louisville
746 North Carolina
    154
-5½-15

-6
 
 

-6
154
-5½-15
152½
-6
9:00 PM 747 Butler
748 Villanova
    144
-9½
 
-10
 
 
 
-10
144
-9½
141
-10
10:00 PM 749 Utah State
750 San Jose State
    143½o15
-1

-1½
 
 
 
-1
143½o15
-1
144
-1
10:00 PM 751 Cal Irvine
752 Cs Fullerton
    -5½
138½
-5
 
 
 
-5½
-5½
138½
-5
137
10:00 PM 753 Boise State
754 Nevada
    153
-5-05

-5½
 
 

-5½-05
153
-5-05
152½
-5½
11:00 PM 755 Fresno State
756 San Diego State
    135½
-8-05

-8½
 
 
 
-8
135½
-8-05
135½
-8
11:00 PM 757 Oregon State
758 Stanford
    133½
-14
 
-13½
 
 
 
-13½
133½
-14
132½
-13½
College Basketball - Added Games - Wednesday, February 22, 2017
7:00 PM 759 Nc Greensboro
760 Mercer
    135½o15
-1½-05

-1½
 
 

-1½
135½o15
-1½-05
135
-2
7:00 PM 761 Western Carolina
762 The Citadel
    169½
-3½-15

-3½
 
 
 
-4
169½
-3½-15
167
-3½
7:00 PM 763 Wofford
764 VMI
    -7½-05
154½
-7
 
 
 
-7
 
-7½-05
154½
-7
152
7:00 PM 765 Furman
766 E Tennessee St.
    142½u15
-6½-15

-7
 
 

-7
142½u15
-6½-15
141½
-7
7:00 PM 767 Manhattan
768 Rider
    152o15
-6½
 
-6
 
 

-6½
152o15
-6½
152
-6
8:00 PM 769 Tennessee Chat
770 Samford
    -3½
148
-3½
 
 
-3½
-3½
148
-3½
147½
8:00 PM 771 North Dakota St
772 Oral Roberts
    -2
147
-1½
 
 
-2
-2
147
-1½
146½
9:00 PM 773 Nebraska Omaha
774 Denver
    162½
-5
 
-5
 
 
 
-5
162½
-5
161½
-5
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