Tuesday, March 21, 2023

One Heart CFLA President Wendy Kleefisch of Brevard Executive Limousine, Stephanie Bowman of One Heart for Women and Children, and CFLA Vendor Director Ryan Hilberth of Book.Limo Kissimmee, Fla. — The Central Florida Livery Association (CFLA) raised more than $2,500 at its first Texas Hold ‘Em charity poker tournament held April 26 at the Formosa Gardens. The money raised will benefit One Heart for Women and Children, an outreach for families dealing with domestic abuse, and Hope & Help, which provides support and education for those with HIV and the community.

More than 40 members and guests took part in the event, with attendees coming in not only from all over the state of Florida, but also from all corners of the country to take their chances at the tables. Among those who made the trek to help the CFLA were John Oulton of Richmond Limousine in Richmond, Va., Nancy Vargas of DH2 Chauffeured Transportation in Queens, N.Y., and Katie Martinez of Chosen Payments in Moorpark, Calif. Additionally, more than 25 operators and vendors supported the event through table sponsorships or as chip sponsors, in which supporters had their company logo imprinted on custom poker chips.

“When you try something for the first time, you want it to be successful, so I had so much anxiety going into the event. I’ve never put on a poker tournament, and don’t even play poker,” says CFLA President Wendy Kleefisch of Brevard Executive Limousine. “I didn’t know how the industry would receive the event, but I was really thrilled by the support and turnout.”

Fraga Lenin Fraga of American Transportation & Limo Services (second from left) was the winner of a pass to the 2018 CD Show Proceeds from the tournament will be used to purchase can goods as part of the CFLA’s Cans for a Cause initiative. The association will purchase an array of healthy non-perishables and distribute them to the two charities. Moreover, at their May 8 meeting, members bolstered the donations by bringing in canned goods.

The grand prize winner of the tournament was Fernando Carlison of Mundi Limousine, who took home a set of poker chips and several gift cards. Second place winner was Lenin Fraga of American Transportation & Limo Services, who received a pass to the 2018 Chauffeur Driven Show, and third place went to current WFLA president Jeremy Jenkins of His & Hers Limousine. The event’s 50/50 raffle was won by Stephanie Bowman, president of One Heart for Women and Children.

“Philanthropy is a passion of mine, so to bring it into the association is amazing, says Kleefisch. “Our board voted unanimously to do the tournament again next year.”

Visit cfla.org for more information.