Sometimes having a family owned, small business, can be very challenging. However, with that being said, there are also some major perks. One of those is not having to answer to a board or corporate office to ask permission to do a charity event. At KOs we have been lucky enough to be a “neighborhood bar” that has given us the opportunity to have many regulars, or friends in our book. One in particular is Jonathon Ford.
Since K O’Donnell’s opened back in 2005, it has offered weekly free poker tournaments. We have had quite a loyal following that would show up each week, many becoming good friends. Jonathon was one of these great people. I will get into the charity event in just a moment, but first I want to tell you a little about Jonathon and his family.
Jonathon and Stephanie met in the mid 2000′s and married August 2010. In December 2011 they welcomed their first baby boy Jack. 4 months later Jonathon was diagnosed with Cholangiocarcinoma-Stage 4 liver cancer. Jonathon was given about a year to live, at this point treatments have been unsuccessful. Stephanie quit her job as a teacher at Pinnacle High School to stay at home with Jonathon and Jack. The Fords needed a little bit of help, and thats what friends are for!
A few of the other poker players decided to throw a charity poker event for The Fords and asked if it could be held at KO’s, and have a portion of the sales that day go towards Jonathon. I was honored, and more than pleased, to be able to help in anyway possible. For about 30 days we went to local businesses and asked friends to donate anything they could that we could giveaway in a raffle or a silent auction. On May 18th it all came together! Stephanie, Jonathon’s wife, asked everyone to wear green on this day, not only is it Jonathon’s favorite color but it just so happens to be the official color of liver cancer. Jonathon’s family and friends, along with complete strangers showed up (around 100 total!!) to support this amazing family. Through giveforward.com, the poker tournament, the raffle, part of the proceeds and the silent auction, we were able to raise just over $36,000!!!!!! We weren’t sure if Jonathon was going to be strong enough to make it out to the tournament but not only did he show up- he was able to get in a few hands of poker! It turned out great that everyone got to say hello to him and catch up. All and all a day that most of us won’t be forgetting.
It was a great reminder of what great people we have the honor to know here at KOs! Thanks again to everyone that came out and made this event such a huge success.
Yes, the moment you’ve waited for…NBA SEASON!!! Check out the schedule and plan ahead!
Then, grab some friends and stop by KO’s for some beer and appetizers, watch the game and root for our Phoenix Suns! Daily specials and refreshing drinks will keep every superfan happy.
Let’s Go Suns!!!