As a person who isn’t necessarily known for doing charitable work, I decided to use the popularity gained by our (soon to be growing) website and begin to promote charitable events.
First, a little history about how we got to this point. When we began the transition of averageguypoker.com from a home game trash talking site to a blog site, we also chose charities to support. Troy Steffy went with MTSU Wrestling Foundation, founded in 2010 by Head Coach, Bryan Knepper as a means to provide deserving high school wrestlers with scholarships to continue their wrestling careers while furthering their educations as a Middle Tennessee State University Blue Raider. Ricky Hodge is an avid supporter of Children’s Miracle Network, established nationally in 1983 to help children by actively supporting improved health care for millions of young people around the world. I asked my Brother, David Deckard, which charity would make him most proud? As I previously stated, charity really hasn’t been my thing. David served our country in Baghdad and wanted to show support for the charities that help our great American soldiers. He brought up Wounded Warrior Project and I took the ball from there.
Ricky has had several very successful events that have raised 1,000′s of dollars for CMN. Troy and his team have ensured that several young adults will be able to further their education through the scholarships offered by the MTSUWF. It was my turn to help raise funds for a charity and I proudly began working on “Rock & hold ‘em,” an event for the troops.
After finding prizes to give away from other local business people, Zone Status agreed to donate their time and talents to this event. Rose Higgins and I worked feverishly on finding a business that would co-sponsor the event to help offset costs. This would become a very important endeavour soon. Troy designed our flyer and we were off and running. I tagged WWP on our initial facebook post as a way to make them aware of our event, no other intention. The following day this is the email I received:
My name is Jessie Carzoli and I am calling from the Community Events department at WWP. We noticed your flyer on our facebook wall and I wanted to reach out. Thank you for the support! Have you had a chance to register your event with us? This is the first step to hosting a fundraiser for WWP as it authorizes use of our name and allows us to send out materials and offer a huge amount of support with marketing and promotional templates and flyers, videos, the option to set up an online donation page, etc. It also puts your event on our calendar. Here is the link:http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/give-back.aspx
In addition, we do not authorize use of our logo for the public as this is a protected and registered trademark. Can you please remove it as soon as possible from your flyer and from anywhere else it is being utilized? Thank you!
The registration fee? $99. Here’s the thing. Rose and I were never able to land a financial co-sponsor, so any money paid out comes directly from me. As a matter of fact, the medals I want to give to our poker winners will be paid for by me. I’m not complaining, only pointing out that I’d like to keep costs as low as possible. Also, my hope is to raise between $500 – $1,000. The money paid to WWP for the right to use their name IN ANY FORM could drop the amount donated by nearly 20% in an effort to recoup cost. I attempted to call Ms. Carzoli to explain how grass roots this effort was and ask if there was a way to have the event without paying an up-front fee, but reached her voicemail. She never returned my call. Needless to say, I was very disappointed.
After conferring with Troy and my Wife, we decided to take the charity event in a different direction. I contacted Fisher House Foundation, provides “a home away from home” that enables family members to be close to a loved military one at the most stressful time, during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury. It read:
Hello, I’m JD Deckard and I run a website, facebook.com/averageguypoker which is a blog site that uses it’s popularity to raise funds for charities close to our hearts. We are working on a Wounded Warrior Project charity poker tournament, but they are asking a $99 registration fee. Unfortunately, I only expect to raise between $500-$1000 and the fee would impact the amount of donation. I’m looking to support a different charity and yours is a wonderful program that performs an amazing service. Is there a fee attached to using your name? Can we give to your foundation without paying a fee? Thank you for your time and keep up the noble work. JD
Hello JD. Thank you for contacting Fisher House Foundation. We do not charge a fee for 3rd parties to raise money and support our Foundation. Your request is approved and our logo is attached. I have attached our electronic brochure which has an editable space to insert your event info so your info and ours is all in one place. It can then either be emailed or printed (double-sided then tri-folded). I am also happy to send out hard copy brochures if you wish – just let me know how many you would like. They are exactly the same, it is just a preference. Thank you very much for your support.
That long story leads us to this:
Please come out and support this foundation by playing poker, winning prizes and listening to the best cover band in the Middle Tennessee area! If you can’t make it, but would like to donate, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll make sure all donations make it to Fisher House. Also, if you know a possible co-sponsor that will be used to make this event more exciting and add to the gift list, shoot me an email!
Thanks for your support and see you in August!