Mark Sutherland and friends get ‘knocked out’ and raise $89,000 in support of programming for children with special needs

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Pacekids Programs teamed up with Mark Sutherland and ATB Financial to host the second annual Mark Sutherland Invitational Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament. The Tournament provided an opportunity for guests to support specialized programming for children with special needs, while experiencing an intimate, one-of-a-kind event. Cowboys Dance Hall was filled with over 150 generous participants, including faces of the Calgary Stampede and World Professional Chuckwagon Association along with celebrity guests Nick “The Promise” Ring, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Kelly Hrudey and more. In total the Mark Sutherland Invitational raised $89,000, exceeding last year’s fundraising total by nearly $10,000.

Each table was hosted by a favourite chuckwagon driver, or local celebrity, where the goal was to ‘knock-out’ the host and win the signed cowboy hat off their head, Wrangler shirt off their back, and custom Mark Sutherland Invitational Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament Montana Silversmith buckle off their belt.

Tournament host, Mark Sutherland said “I am proud to be a part of such a successful event. I would like to thank all of the volunteers who donated their time to help with the tournament, our generous sponsors and of course all of the participants. I am already looking forward to next year’s third annual Tournament.”

Returning for the second consecutive year as the presenting sponsor for this event was ATB Financial. Steven Janz, Vice President of Agriculture at ATB Financial remarked “We need to first applaud those who organized the event for us this year; it was a fantastic, well run, great evening. Not only did we get an opportunity to get in front of a lot of business men during our time at the tables, but it was great to see that a lot of Calgary’s influential women share in the importance of the event/charity and attended. We’re already looking forward to partnering up again with Mark and Pacekids for the 2014 event.”

Thank you to our generous sponsors, ATB Financial, Cowboys Casino and Dancehall, Remington Development Corp., BD&P Law Firm, M&R Safety LTD, Grumans Catering, Omega 2000 Cribbing Foundation, Summit Liabilities, WestJet, Calgary Stampede’s chuckwagon committee and Wrangler.

Tournament Hosts and special guests included:
World Professional Chuckwagon Drivers Mark Sutherland, Mitch Sutherland, Kelly Sutherland, Kirk Sutherland, Scott Schiffner, Kurt Bensmiller, Tim Haroldson, Dennis Halstead, Chad Fike, Jordie Fike, Cody Snyder and Codey McCurrach. Along with special guests Bret “Hitman” Hart, Nick “The Promise” Ring, Kelly Hrudey, and CJay92 Radio host ‘Red Dawg’.


About Pacekids Programs
Pacekids Programs is family-focused and strives to offer excellence in the treatment of children with special needs emphasizing a trans-disciplinary, direct-treatment approach. In 2013 Pacekids is celebrating its 19th Anniversary and aims to provide services to over 125 children and their families through a private ECS program – licensed by Alberta Education, a unique Family Support program for infants, and one-on-one aide support. Not only do these programs benefit the children, they help their family members better their understanding and skills while helping their little ones reach those important milestones. For more information on Pacekids visit, join the conversation on Twitter ( and Facebook (, or call 403.234.7876.

For more information contact:
Misty Kolozetti, Director, Marketing & Fund Development
p. 403.234.7876 ext 145
c. 403.998.2822
f. 403.685.3146

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