New York City pool player Jason Gonzalez put together "Pooling Our Strength", a fundraiser held February 6 at Eastside Billiards on 86th Street, to raise money for the Patient Free Care fund at The Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. According to NYC Grind, a leading website for New York pool players, the event was created as Gonzalez' project in the Self-Expression and Leadership Program.
The event brought in New York City pro Tony Robles, instructor Mark Finkelstein and Jennifer Baretta, one of the top female 9-ball players in the world. Attendees were charged $15 for admission, with proceeds going toward those who otherwise couldn't afford medical care. Gonzalez says he was inspired by the work that his wife Nicole does as an occupational therapist at Sloan-Kettering, and that he knew the New York City pool community had a great heart that he knew would come together to support the cause.
According to NYC Grind, Gonzalez was extremely grateful for the generosity of the pool professionals who took part:
"The pros who participated didn’t really know me before we started working on this," he noted. "Their participation was largely a leap of faith and is a testament to the kinds of people they are. All it took was a phone call or email about the cause for them to get on board. They are fantastic people, and I can’t thank them enough for making the event such a great success."
Visit the NYC Grind website to read their complete interview with Gonzalez about the event, and see video footage from the entertaining event. Also see the Pooling our Strength website to find out more or contribut.