Bar Bulletin: Shuffle up and HEAL for a good cause

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  • | 12:00 p.m. January 19, 2015
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Eric Roberson
Eric Roberson
  • Law
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The Young Lawyers Section of The Jacksonville Bar Association will hold its inaugural Charity Poker Tournament on Thursday, Feb. 19, at bestbet Jacksonville, 201 Monument Road.

The fun begins at 5 p.m. with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The game is no-limit Texas hold ‘em as seen on ESPN and the World Series of Poker.

Don’t worry — if you are not a card shark, there will be classes before the tournament to teach basic rules and strategies for playing. Even though it is a “school night,” the tournament will conclude by 8:45 p.m.

This year’s event will benefit HEAL (Helping Every Autistic Life), a nonprofit serving Northeast Florida. It offers a variety of educational programs and camps to help individuals and families living with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

HEAL has been able to award significant grants for such needs as classroom enhancements for local schools and educational seminars for parents, teachers and therapists. I invite you to visit to learn more about the group.

We are pleased to announce several local celebrities will be playing in the tournament, including John Delaney, former mayor and current University of North Florida president; Melissa Ross, host of WJCT’s First Coast Connect; Matt Schellenberg, Jacksonville City Council; Megha Parekh, senior vice president and general counsel for the Jacksonville Jaguars; Rick Mullaney, former Jacksonville general counsel and founding director of the Jacksonville University Public Policy Institute; Hank Coxe, past president of The Florida Bar; Jamie Shelton, president of bestbet; and Steve Grossman, CEO of the Jacksonville Aviation Authority.

Anyone knocking out our local celebrities will receive a special prize.

Those skilled and lucky enough to make it to the final table will compete for several prizes, including a generous gift from that other place to play poker — Las Vegas. The Monte Carlo provided our winner with a deluxe room and two tickets to the Blue Man Group Show.

There are many ways to sign up for the tournament. You can visit and complete the registration. You also can email me at [email protected] or Patrick Kilbane at [email protected]. We look forward to seeing you there.

But there’s even more fun to be had that same week.

The annual Chili Cook-Off will be Saturday, Feb. 21, at its new venue. After four great years at Florida Coastal School of Law, we will be slinging chili at the Riverside Arts Market under the canopy of the Fuller Warren Bridge from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

It’s easy to enter a team to see if your chili is the best overall, meatiest, spiciest or most unique. In addition, we are introducing two awards this year for best fixins and best cornbread. Of course, we also will have music and refreshments.

Last year, Tanner Bishop took home the championship trophy. This year the competition will be fiercer than ever.

All proceeds will benefit Friends of Jacksonville Animals, a charity working with Jacksonville’s Animal Care and Protective Services to benefit the lives of shelter animals by helping with medical care, adoptions and reducing euthanasia. Visit to learn


Registration forms are available at For more information, please email Alexandria Hill at [email protected].



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