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Why Kolter|KAST poker tourney fundraiser works

At last count, $1.6 million was raised for 16 charities by Kolter|KAST Construction.

Tables were full at “Havana Nights.” The recent poker tournament is a reliable fundraiser for the home builder and the construction firm.

The evening in the Boca Raton Resort & Club starts with a casual dinner and cocktail reception. That leads to the tournament card games and wraps with a comedy performance.

That casual, biennial fundraiser works, said Bobby Julien, Kolter Group CEO. Not having a formal, sit-down dinner appeals to vendors and suppliers. “We’re roll-up our sleeves, not fancy,” he said.  “It’s a fun evening and good networking. This has become a who’s who. They want to come here.”

Action shot of a poker table.

“All the money we raise goes into local charities that serve a lot of people in need,” Julien announced from the stage to welcome the crowd before the tournament started.

“We’re giving back in the towns and cities where we do business,” KAST Construction CEO Michael Neal said later.

Julien was on the board for nine years. Neil is now v.p. of their operational board, said Stephanie Seibel, CEO for Achievement Centers for Children and Families. “Bobby brought a business mindset,” she said as a major beneficiary of the proceeds. “This event allows us to fill in the gaps of our government funding.”

“Anytime an organization does this, it’s a huge gift,” said Kristin Calder, CEO of the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County, another beneficiary. “They’re generous and they want to give back.”

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