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Building Community

February 18, 2014 by Jeff Forrest

Building communities is something we do everyday, however it’s our service, volunteering, and support of non-profit organizations of which we are most proud. At the end of January, WPC was able to support a local grassroots organization, which helps families with the unforeseen costs of cancer treatments, in a very unique way. WPC resident blogger and President, Jeff Forrest, passes the writing baton this month to employee and son, Jeffrey, as he tells a story of fighting cancer through a deck of cards.

Welcome to my inaugural WPC blog. This should be easy to write since I’ll be talking about the same thing my old personal blog was about, poker. One of the best things about working here is the easy accessibility to working with different charities. In the past 6 months, I’ve helped build towers out of cans for Canstruction, began renovations on the new school for the Conductive Education Center of Orlando, and now played in a charity poker tournament for the Cancerbank. All have been great experiences in their own way.

The Cancerbank charity poker tournament, held on Friday January 31st, was exciting because I could use skills I’d molded over the years for two families in need. I was actually able to play with one of the fathers we were helping in the event. He lost quickly but told us all about his young daughter with leukemia and thanked all of us individually for coming out and supporting him when he was in need. It gave me a little extra incentive to focus and play the best I knew I could.

We started with 7,500 chips and within an hour I had almost 40,000, most of which was from a nice elderly woman sitting next to me. She didn’t mind so much when I told her who I was and the company I was representing. How, when asked to sponsor an ex-professional in a charity event, my coworkers pitched in a combined $360. That whatever was unused was still being donated, and whatever was won would be donated back to the charity. It gave me a great deal of pride to be there on behalf of WPC, and to know that it’s likely we wouldn’t have pitched in as much if I hadn’t played. Unfortunately, after another hour and a few bad runs of the cards, I was heading home early.

In the end, the Cancerbank raised over $8,000 that night and 100% of that money will directly benefit the two families battling cancer. Nearly 100 poker players from the area came out to compete and support a great cause to help others in our community. I look forward to more of these events and will continue to look for opportunities in the near future provided by WPC.


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