Theresa Stevens, president of the TELUS Community Ambassadors Red Deer (right) hands out a cheque to Brent LaBrosse, annual giving officer for the Red Deer Regional Health Foundation for the hospital’s pediatric unit. The Telus Days of Giving event in Red Deer raised more than $13,000 Sunday. Photo submitted.

Telus employees play poker for sick children in Red Deer

The Central Alberta Telus family went all-in to raise about $13,000 in a charity poker tournament on Sunday.

Red Deer Telus Community Ambassadors – a group that consists of Telus employees, retirees, friends and family hosted the event as a way of giving back to the community.

Theresa Stevens, general manager for Telus in Central Alberta and the president of the Red Deer Community Ambassadors, said about 70 people attended the Fun Money Charity Poker tournament in Red Deer.

About $9,000 will be donated to Alberta Children’s Hospital and the remaining $4,000 will go to the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre’s pediatric unit.

She said the two hospitals were chosen because the cause resonated with the company after they heard of a Central Alberta Telus employee’s story.

Travis Clark, a field technician with Telus in Ponoka, is often at the two hospitals with his daughter. The eight-year-old had seizures until she was five.

“When she was only hours old, she experienced seizures and spent the next several years frequently visiting both hospitals,” said Stevens.

“Many of our group members are parents, and we immediately felt the emotion when Travis expressed the gratitude for the care they received. There are few things more frightening than a sick child.”

Stevens said the Telus Days of Giving is both a Canada-wide and an international event that runs in May-June.

Players at the Red Deer event were given Texas Hold ‘Em poker chips for $50. Some of the participants won prizes including gift cards, tech accessories and Red Deer Rebels seasons tickets.

At the last year’s event in Red Deer, the organization raised $12,000 to go towards Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre.

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