Annual Challenge the Stars Event Raised over $5,000 for the Billiard Education Foundation (BEF)
The Return of the BEF Challenge the Stars proved a successful evening
Where can amateur players challenge their favorite professional pool players, all while helping to raise money for their favorite billiard charity? Only at the annual BEF Challenge the Stars event.
The popular Challenge the Stars returned this year July 23rd to the Rio Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Keeping with the tradition, the event took place on the Tuesday evening of the singles finals while all the team players rolled in for the annual CSI National Championships. Since its first year, Cue-Tech Pool School’s Randy Goettlicher has been the emcee and this year was no exception.
The impressive list of top professionals who showed their support by taking challenge matches included top world and junior champions: Shane VanBoening, Mika Immonen, Jennifer Barretta, Dennis Orcullo, Mike Dechaine, Francisco Bustamante, Corey Deuel, Ralf Souquet, Darren Appleton, Jason “The Michigan Kid” Lynch Fan Page, Lee Brett, The Drill Instructor, Stefano Pelinga, Hunter Lombardo, and top BEF Junior player, Briana Miller.
This year’s event raised approximately $5,500 for the organization through the pro challenge matches and it was greatly due to the support of the many generous silent auction donations which included: a custom Jacoby cue, a McDermott cue, Fury NR series cues and other gift packages from Sterling Gaming, custom leather wallets and bags from Castillo Leather Goods, a one of a kind original oil painting by Tanner Pruess (which will be auctioned at a later date), two Delta-13 Select racks, Dr. Dave gift packages, RT9 Designs poster packs, commemorative signed memorabilia from Mosconi Cup, as well as a signed event t-shirt from the Jay Swanson Memorial tournament courtesy of GoPlayPool.com, a collection of books form Bebob Publishing, Dr. Cue autographed collection, and more donated items from Str8-Shots.com. A generous donation of $250 was presented courtesy of Kamui and Texas Bumps, as well as a $1,000 donation made by Tom Riccobene.
Special Thanks go to Claude Gragg, Randy’s right-hand man, Dave Merrill and his crew of referees who all donated their time, particularly Ed Stephens for the extra donation, and CSI and its staff for all their support. Staff photographer for the evening, Jim Calderon worked tirelessly to ensure all challengers got their photo taken with their pro. Additional thanks also go to volunteers Earl Munson, Tammy Jo and Melvin Leonard, Kathy Coffee, Travis and Tarasa Escoubas, Taren Stewart, Josh Bustos, Cody Escoubas, and Winfield Hong.
The BEF also thanks all the donors, challengers, bidders, and supporters that helped make the event successful and its fundraising efforts pay off. For more information on the Challenge the Stars, Junior Nationals, and other BEF programs, visit the BEF website at www.billiardeducation.org.
The Billiard Education Foundation (BEF) was formed in 1993 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charity committed to promoting a lifelong love of pool and building the next generation of players through youth programs and academic scholarships. Visit billiardeducation.org or call (303) 926-1039 to learn more about junior billiard programs in your area.