“The NISD Special Olympics team is one of the few teams in the North Texas area not funded by a school district,” said Travis Hammond, Vice President of the Irving Police Association. “So they rely solely on donations to buy uniforms and equipment. When you donate to the main Special Olympics team, they don’t give money down to the local teams for things of that nature. When the team goes bowling, they have to rent a bowling alley for $1,000.
“The Irving Police Association decided to hold a benefit to raise money for the team. A poker tournament is pretty simple to put together, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.
“This year, NISD held the track and field event in Arlington. Watching those kids run and play was great. They don’t care whether they get first place, third or eighth. The satisfaction they get from it is incredible,” he said.
Megan Fulbright serves as the team’s Coach.
“The team started about four years ago with three athletes,” Fulbright said. “We now have 25 to 30 athletes ranging in ages from four to 22 years old. Anybody in the community can participate at any age. Our team relies on donations to fund us.
“We offer sports year round including bowling, basketball, track and field, and swimming. Most of the kids participate in all the sports, so it is a lot of fun for them. It is good for the kids physically, but it is even better for them emotionally and socially. The kids love playing and doing activities with other kids.”
The Texas Municipal Police Association was represented among the poker players.
“Our organization represents the majority of the officers at the Irving Police Department,” said Noel Johnson with the Texas Municipal Police Association. “So when they are involved in benevolent or charitable fund raising for worth groups, we like to come out and show our support.
“I used to fancy myself a decent, small card room player. However, I and most of the gentlemen from our organization have not played cards in months maybe even a year. So tonight might be a good night for some of the other players.”
The tournament winners are as follows:
1st Place Jimmy Brown from Texas Municipal Police Association
2nd Place Lance Wyatt from Lance Wyatt Law Firm
3rd Place Floyd Remington
4th Place Randal Hayen
5th Place Don Patin
6th Place Thomas Brown.