Jennifer Harman Auctioning Off Lunch Experience for Charity
17 March 2018
PokerBrave (3014 articles)

One of the things that the world of poker does well is show its charitable side. From poker tournaments that have raised millions for many causes to individual efforts that have demonstrated the true heart of the poker community, the game literally puts its money where its mouth is. One of the top philanthropists in the poker world, Jennifer Harman, is giving of herself again in a unique auction event.

A member of the Poker Hall of Fame and the Women in Poker Hall of Fame, Harman is offering one fortunate individual the chance to sit down for a one-on-one lunch engagement with the poker legend. The charity auction is benefitting the Lollipop Theater Network, which is a non-profit organization that “brings the magic of movies currently in theaters to children confined to hospitals nationwide due to chronic or life-threatening illnesses.” The organization counts supporters such as actresses Jennifer Garner and Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway amongst its ranks and has been in existence since 2001, delivering over 2400 hospital events and 338 movie screenings to children otherwise unable to attend the movies.

Harman’s auction is doing well but, as normal with an auction, the rush of bidding will be closer to its conclusion. The auction will end on March 20 and, at this moment, seven bids have been received. Currently the winner of the auction is “The Baron of Houston,” who has put up a $5000 bid for the opportunity for lunch with Harman. It should get much higher than that as the auction ends, however; the value of the meeting with Harman is estimated at $10,000.

Harman’s own work in the philanthropic arena has been extensive. Plagued by kidney issues since she was a child – her mother and sister also are affected by kidney disease, with Harman’s mother passing from the disease when Harman was 17 – Harman has been an advocate for research into kidney disease and a proponent for organ donation. Harman has benefitted tremendously from organ donation, having twice had kidneys replaced after hers failed.

But it isn’t only medical research that Harman has been an advocate for. For many years Harman has run a charity poker event that benefitted animal rights groups, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and the Nevada Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA). Those tournaments have raised more than $1 million since their inception in the late 2000s.

Poker’s philanthropic efforts don’t end with Harman, however. Arguably one of the biggest charitable causes was developed by Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Lalliberte when he created the One Drop Foundation. The organization, which tries to ensure adequate potable water worldwide, has raised millions through the “Big One for One Drop” and smaller buy-in tournaments run during the World Series of Poker.

Another group that has been very successful is Raising for Effective Giving (REG). The charitable fundraising non-profit group was created at the 2014 WSOP with several top poker professionals taking up the cause. Such players as Liv Boeree, Igor Kurganov, Philipp Gruissem and former World Champion Martin Jacobsen have pledged to donate a percentage of their lifetime earnings to the group in the pursuit of its goals. The funds raised by REG have gone to such organizations as The Nonhuman Rights Project, The Center for Applied Rationality, The Against Malaria Foundation and GiveWell, among others.

There are plenty of other charitable causes that poker has gotten behind, but these are arguably the highlights from the poker world. On an individual level, Harman must be commended for her continued altruism for a host of causes that she has taken up. For more details on Harman’s auction, the work of the Lollipop Theater Network or to perhaps lay down a bid on the auction, visit the auction site here.