Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood Hosts $195,000 Nonprofit Fundraiser
Jeff Conine, Aurelio Fernandez and Greg Marsh
August 19 2019 – He’s run seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, completed the Ironman Triathlon, been a two-time World Series champion and All-Star Game MVP, but to families with children being treated at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, Jeff Conine’s most important legacy has little to do with sports.
For the eighth consecutive year, the former major league ballplayer and Weston resident was the driving force behind a celebrity poker fundraiser that raised $195,000 to underwrite expenses at the Conine Clubhouse, a hotel-like facility where families can stay for free while a child is hospitalized.
“Many thousands of families have stayed at the clubhouse while a child was seriously ill, giving them a place to sleep, shower, and regroup during times of crisis,” said Conine. “We’re proud that because of the poker and golf tournaments we host each year, none of them have ever paid to stay at what’s equivalent to a boutique hotel just steps from the hospital.”
Aurelio Fernandez and Caitlin & Todd Stella
Presented by the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, the event was attended by more than 500 people, with 410 entered in the tournament. Randal Fernandez of Miami was the big winner, taking home $5,000 in cash, a three-night stay at the Hard Rock Hotel in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and a championship seat (valued at more than $5,000) in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $3 Million Guarantee Championship.
In all, more than $35,000 in cash and prizes was awarded to players that included local
sports celebrities Roberto Luongo, Mark Duper, Gaby Sanchez, Randy Moeller, O.J. McDuffie, Ki-Jana Carter, Tony Nathan, and Jim Jensen. ESPN’s Dave LaMont was the event
emcee and Orlando City TV voice Bruce Silverman was the auctioneer.
Conine’s philanthropy efforts are in partnership with the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation. Established in 1994, the nonprofit raises funds, in part through events like the Conine Celebrity Poker Classic, to assist patients and their families and underwrite the costs of programs, facilities and equipment at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital, the largest children’s hospital serving Broward, Palm Beach, and northern Miami-Dade counties.
Stan Marks and Zeff Ross