This story was updated today.
The 11th annual Ante4Autism Poker Tournament, which takes place Jan. 26 at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino’s Grand Event Center, on the eve of Las Vegas Market, will feature a live auction of three travel adventures: a private plane ride, a Kenyan safari and a luxury Costa Rican vacation.
The event will open with a speech by Jackson McQuiston, an adult with autism. He is the son of Mike McQuiston, president of Symbol Mattress. After addressing the crowd, Jackson McQuiston will play in the tournament for the first time.
Jackson is 21 years old and a resident of Richmond, Virginia. He currently is enrolled in “Courage to Succeed,” a program at Virginia Commonwealth University designed to help adults with autism succeed in pursuing a higher education. He also has a job at Home Depot and takes a class in welding at the university.
The tournament added more sponsors, including Cathi and Karl Glassman as $5,000 Platinum sponsors and Home Furnishings Association Next Generation Now, Coconis Furniture, Custom Fundraising Solutions, Malouf and Richmond Furniture Gallery as $1,000 Silver sponsors.
In addition, the HFA group has taken a special table at the event for its members.
Other individual and company sponsors who signed up in January include A. Lava & Son Co., Huffman Koos Furniture and Restonic Mattress Corp. as $2,500 Gold sponsors; Angelique Clark, Customatic Technologies, Intellibed, Roger Magowitz and Mantua Mfg. Co. as $1,000 Silver sponsors; and Crane’s Mattress, David Deye and U-own financial services as $500 Bronze sponsors.
A broad and growing array of celebrities, professional poker players and mattress and furniture industry members are slated to play in the tournament.
Proceeds of the event have been earmarked for five nonprofits: Autism Speaks, Cleveland Clinic Children’s Center for Autism, National Autism Association of Southeast Ohio, The Reece School in New York and Stynchula Foundation.
Autism Spectrum Disorders are diagnosed in 1 in 59 children in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. It is four times more prevalent in boys than in girls and occurs across all ethnic, racial and socioeconomic groups. Ante4Autism is committed to helping families and individuals impacted by autism in any way it can.