Scott City poker tournament to raise funds for amphitheater project Saturday

Friday, December 4, 2009

People organizing a Saturday Texas hold'em tournament fundraiser in Scott City hope to raise around $1,000 for an amphitheater to match money collected so far.

A cluster of people and groups including the Scott City mayor, the Scott City Parks Board, local musicians and area businesses support a city amphitheater on which construction could begin by spring 2012, said Paul Shock, who is hosting the tournament at his Scott City bar, Schock's Pub.

Phyllis Crump, who heads the Scott City Parks Department, said funds are gradually coming in through private fundraisers, which started in August. The Saturday tournament will be the fourth one.

"But, no matter how many (fundraisers) we have to have we'll keep having them in order to get our goal (of building the amphitheater)," Crump said.

Funds for the amphitheater have not come from dips into the city's general revenue fund, said Scott City Mayor Tim Porch. Nor, he added, has the parks board asked the city to allocate funds for the project. Crump said the city parks board hasn't appropriated any money for capital improvements projects for the current fiscal year ending in July.

Porch said he thinks it's possible that the city parks board and the city council could allocate funds for the amphitheater in the future. There are only a couple of capital improvement projects that need to be completed before more focus can turn to the amphitheater, he said. Crump said she is hoping the parks board and the city council can match funds.

Construction on a stage could begin if $10,000 was collected, said the treasurer of the parks board, Gale Bohannon. With a stage, the city could at least begin hosting concerts, which could help raise more money, she said.

Estimates for a more complete amphitheater, which could seat 4,000 people, including a concession stand, seating and bathrooms, come with a price tag of $20,000 to $30,000, Schock said.

Schock said about 11 private businesses have already donated to the fundraiser, and each donor was asked to give $60. Other amphitheater funds from the tournament will come from players buying chips. The fundraiser will accept private business donations until about noon on Saturday, Schock said.

The tournament's first prize is $500, Schock said. Start time is 1 p.m. for anyone at least 21 years old, and there isn't any cover charge for spectators.

A night of trivia might be the theme for the next fundraiser in February or March, Schock said.

For more information on Saturday's tournament call Gale Bohannon at 573-579-8352 or Phyllis Crump at 573-264-2322.

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