Hilda Magluta of Daytona Beach won the Seventh Annual Betty Jane France Memorial High Speed Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament presented by Halifax Health on Monday night, but there was another winner as well.
That would be the children who are given a chance at a healthy life through health and medical services provided through The NASCAR Foundation’s Speediatics Children’s Fund. As a result of funds raised by the tournament, which was held at the Henderson Center on the campus of Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, the Speediatrics Unit at Halifax Health will receive a $150,000 donation from The NASCAR Foundation via the Speediatrics Children’s Fund.
The event, which has carved its own unique niche on the busy Speedweeks calendar each February in Daytona Beach, was attended by approximately 300 people, including the huge field of tournament players. Professional poker player Maria Ho was among the competitors. Attendees included NASCAR legends Rusty Wallace and Mike Skinner, Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Driver Matt DiBenedetto, along with NASCAR Drive for Diversity drivers Ruben Garcia, Jr., Ernie Francis, Jr., Chase Cabre, Nick Sanchez and Ryan Vargas.
Larry McReynolds and Angle Skinner served as co-emcees for the event while foundation Chairman Mike Helton and foundation board member Rusty Wallace were co-chairmen.
The tournament was started as a fundraiser for the Speediatrics Children’s Fund by the late Betty Jane France, who founded the NASCAR Foundation in 2006. France was an avid poker player herself, winning the tournament when it debuted in 2012.
In addition to donations made by tournament participants to re-buy into the game, a significant amount of funds raised came via live and silent auctions.
“This year’s High Speed Hold ‘Em truly honored Betty Jane France’s vision for the event,” said The NASCAR Foundation Executive Director Nichole Krieger.
“It brought our community together and is benefiting the Speediatrics Children’s Fund significantly. And of course, everyone had a great time in the process. We feel certain that Mrs. France would be proud of how the event continues to grow thanks to the support of so many true friends of The NASCAR Foundation.”
The NASCAR Foundation also appreciates the event sponsors who help make the event possible, including Halifax Health, Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach Racing and Card Club, ICI Homes, NASCAR and many others.