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What started as a pledge by poker pro Dan Smith to match anyone's charitable donations up to a total of $175,000 has snowballed into a huge $1.7 million fundraiser. Smith petitioned friends and peers to donate to humanitarian efforts around the world and when the drive was finished 134 people had contributed. Pushing the total even higher was a pair of brothers who have reportedly been very successful in Daily Fantasy Sports. Martin Crowley had already matched $325,000 in other people's donations and went on to give $200,000 more when the drive reached $1m. Martin's brother Tom then surprised everyone by donating $500,000, bringing the total to $1.7m. Among the recipients of the funds was Against Malaria Fund, a group that distributes mosquito nets in Africa, and the Schistosomiasis Contril Initiative which de-worms children infected with parasites and intestinal worms. Dan Smith has also shared some information on what went into organizing the project to help others create their own charity drives. You can find that at www.dansmithholla.com.
Poker pro Dan Smith and 134 of his friends and peers just raised $1.7 million for a long list of charities around the world.
This was Smith's third annual fundraiser and this time he promised to match donations up to a total of $175k.
The initiative gained serious momentum and thanks to huge support from the poker community, eventually reached a total of $1 million.
That's when two legendary Daily Fantasy Sports players jumped in and donated an extra $700,000.
Dan Smith tweeted:
“2016 ended with a bang! Final tally $1.7 million”
Smith's idea was to use his own donations, which are tax-deductible, to motivate others to donate their own money as well, and then use the funds to support organizations that have the biggest impact.
The money went to a long list of groups but among the biggest recipients were the Against Malaria Fund that provides mosquito nets in Africa to combat the disease that kills half a million people annually.
And the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative which will use the money to de-worm tens of thousands of children infected with parasites and intestinal worms.
Poker player and TV presenter Kara Scott participated in the drive and tweeted:
“Dan Smith did an amazing thing that will do so much good in the world. Plus he gave us all a way to participate.”
Eight-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner Erik Seidel tweeted:
“Best gambling story of the year. What a tremendous impact these guys will have.”
The biggest surprise came when the fundraiser was closing in on $1 million and legendary Daily Fantasy Sports players Tom and Martin Crowley pledged $700,000 between them should the drive reach the seven-figure mark.
The entire initiative was organized in cooperation with Raising for Effective Giving, a charity founded by poker pros Philip Gruissem, Liv Boeree and Igor Kurganov.
For more info on how you can organize a fundraising drive of your own, visit Dan Smith's website at Dansmithholla.com.