HARRISBURG -- The Harrisburg Elks Lodge is now seeking sponsors and players for its 38th annual charity MONOPOLY tourney this year benefiting Heaven's Kitchen -- Harrisburg, a Fowler Bonan Foundation-led mission fighting local food insecurity, and also their "Clothes for SI Kids" flagship outreach that's been assisting children with free clothes and shoes since 2003.
The tourney is set for Saturday, March 7 at the Elks Lodge. Last year, it was renamed the "Roger Craig Memorial Monopoly Tournament" in honor of Craig, who died in late 2018 following a lengthy illness.
He was a three-time Past Exalted Ruler of the lodge and earned the title of United States Monopoly Champion in 1995, and later finished fourth in the world championship in Monaco on the Mediterranean coast.
State Sen. Dale Fowler, chairman of the Fowler-Bonan Foundation, said "We still sorely miss Roger. Everyone does. Renaming the tourney in his honor was fitting -- hopefully Roger's memory, and his generosity will remind us all of what's really important -- being charitable to all."
"And what about the Elks?" Fowler said. "They're such a blessing, many times over. If people only knew."
Paul Cummins, an Elks Past Exalted Ruler, is again serving as chairman of this years' event. Cummins said everyone is excited.
"Last year, thanks to a swarm of Heaven's Kitchen volunteers, our event was reinvigorated, and we raised well over $10,000," he said.
"We always pull out all the stops to make it a great night of fun," Cummins continued. "Whether it be sponsoring a player, donating silent auction items or food, participating as a player, or simply coming for the entertainment, the community has always been there to support us. We're so grateful."
The cost for a seat at the tournament -- often paid by a sponsor -- is $150. Everyone competes in a preliminary 90-minute round of play, beginning at 6:30 p.m., with the top table-winners advancing to the final round of play to determine the eventual winner.
A new wrinkle last year was the addition of a table designated especially for high school-age students.
A special "High Rollers" table is also being offered for donations of $1,000, with limited seats available.
In addition to the fast-paced, championship-caliber MONOPOLY competition -- the night will also feature silent and live auctions, food and beverage, raffles, and live music by Harrisburg's own Kristin Kearns beginning at about 8:30 p.m.
Now living in Nashville, Kearns picked up her first guitar at age 4.
Inspired by her father (Jeff's) influences as well as the likes Stevie Nicks, John Mayer and Norah Jones, she began honing her songwriting craft at 15. Her powerhouse vocals and performances on acoustic guitar have been featured on stage since was 18. Read more about Kristin at https://www.kristinkearnsmusic.com/.
Admission is $10 at the door.
"As we always say, everyone interested in pitting their real estate trading skills against other top players, all while helping out a worthy cause, we want to see on March 7 out here at the Elks," Cummins said.
Kerry Camp will serve as the tourney's official judge, and Sen. Dale Fowler will emcee the night, just as they have combined to do for many years.
Those wishing to compete, or sponsor a player, may contact Cummins at (618) 525-2749, or the lodge at (618) 252-5000.
According to Camp, MONOPOLY is the world's most popular proprietary board game, is licensed in more than 80 countries and is printed in more than 26 languages and is played by an estimated 250 million people worldwide.
The Elks and Heaven's Kitchen volunteers ask all supporters to mark their calendars now for Saturday, March 7. Players need to be checked in and seated by 6 p.m.
For more information, contact Cummins (525-2749), Kerry Camp (841-8482), Genny Craig (841-4366), Amanda Hunt (499-1822), or the Elks lodge at 252-5000.