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Poker fans help deal up some more hope for Manteca homeless families

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Poker fans help deal up some more hope for Manteca homeless families

Poker players turned out in force Saturday at the Bank of Stockton for a poker tournament designed to raise funds for the HOPE Family Shelters that cater to families and women with children. TOP PH...

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POSTED April 28, 2009 2:21 a.m.
By JASON CAMPBELL
Staff reporter of the
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
The future temporary housing for dozens Manteca families forced onto the street was riding on the flip of the cards.
Literally.
Dozens of local residents took their seats inside of Bank of Stockton Saturday night to participate in a $50 buy-in poker tournament set to benefit HOPE Ministries and the work that they do helping families that are struggling.
Organized by local builder Bob Raymus and HOPE Ministries Chief Executive Officer Dave Thompson, the event drew dozens of poker fans with all of the money raised – the event was expected to make nearly $3,000 – going to help the two shelters operated in Manteca.
“With the way that things are going right now there are a lot of people that need help,” said Raymus – who serves on the Board of Directors of HOPE Ministries and was instrumental in organizing the renovation of Raymus House. “Poker is kind of a hobby of mine, so I thought maybe it would a good event to have people come out and visit and have fun and hopefully earn  some money for this organization at the same time.
“And we’ve had people come down that aren’t even poker players that wanted to just help out HOPE Ministries and what they do.”
Those who entered were eligible to win various prizes – including a custom-built poker table and an Oakland Athletics ticket package – depending on how well they finished.
For Thompson it’s a chance to provide a little bit of a cushion in a year that has been exceptionally tight – with government funding shrinking because of the fiscal crisis in Sacramento and Washington.
“Right now we’re still full and we’ve had to cut back on some of the services that we offer,” he said. “We’ve been getting lots of phone calls from people who have lost their jobs and are now facing foreclosure or were renting and had to be evicted because the owner got foreclosed on.”
But while things have definitely been difficult, Thompson says that the people of Manteca have made it possible for the organization to keep functioning and helping those in need.
“I’ve always said – and I’ve been here for more than 30 years – that there’s really no place better,” Thompson said. “The community has really risen up and that gives you a good feeling knowing that people are willing to lend a hand.”
For more information about HOPE Ministries, contact the Raymus House office at 823-3148.
To contact Jason Campbell e-mail jcampbell@mantecabulletin.com or call (209) 249-3544.

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