Ante4Autism Breaks Fundraising Record (Slideshow)

Ante4Autism Mike and Jackson McQuiston

Symbol Mattress President Mike McQuiston poses with his son, Jackson, who was a special guest speaker at the 11th annual Ante4Autism poker tournament in Las Vegas. Symbol is one of many bedding industry companies that sponsor the event each year. Mike McQuiston holds a plaque recognizing his company’s $15,000 sponsorship of the final table.

The 11th annual Ante4Autism Poker Tournament, held each year during the Winter Las Vegas Market, raked in an unprecedented $147,187 for five autism-related charities. The total take topped last year’s event by close to $10,000. Proceeds from the event are 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.

Ante4Autism, a Texas hold’em poker tournament, was founded in 2009 by Doug Krinsky, currently a sales executive with Brooklyn Bedding. The tournament is the focal event of Beat Autism Now Inc., a nonprofit founded in 2008 by Krinsky and his wife, Kelly. (They are parents of a son with autism).

The event has grown each year, attracting players and sponsors from across the bedding and furniture industries, as well as celebrities, professional poker players and members of the public. Professional poker player Karina Jett is a longtime event co-host. Total earnings from all 11 tournaments now top $712,000.

This year, guest speaker Jackson McQuiston, an adult with autism who is the son of Mike McQuiston, president of Symbol Mattress, addressed an overflow crowd of players and onlookers to welcome them to the event.

The evening’s champion was Corky Richardson of Ashley Furniture Industries Inc. His company was a $10,000 sponsor of this year’s event. With a donation of $20,000, industry supplier Leggett & Platt Inc. was named presenting sponsor. For a complete list of all 2019 tournament sponsors, check the Ante4Autism homepage.

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.

View a video slideshow from the event, photos courtesy of Ante4Autism:

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