The 10th Annual Ed Asner charity tournament took place over the weekend. The event takes place each year to raise funds for the Ed Asner Family Center, a charity that helps neurodivergent individuals and their families by providing therapy, running support groups, and hosting courses.
The event had a bitter-sweet atmosphere. Asner passed away in August of last year, making this the first live version of the event without Ed Asner himself in attendance. His son and daughter-in-law took up the mantle and have kept the event going.
To honor his legacy, a whole little black book’s worth of celebrities turned out for the event. There was Tom Arnold, Joely Fisher, Judd Nelson, Jean Smart, Rosie O’Donnell, Jean Smart, and Don Cheadle. Previous incarnations of the event have even lured in Tom Hanks and Ben Affleck.
The Center tweeted after the event: “We’re still reeling from all of the love & support at #PokerForEd. While this was our first Poker Night without Ed, his presence was felt throughout the evening. Thank you to everyone who participated to create such a magical evening in memory of [Ed Asner]”
An evening of fun and good deeds
In a nice tip of the cap to Asner’s career as an actor, the event took place in the same hanger-studio that the Mary Tyler Moore show was shot. Ed Asner played Lou Grant, Mary’s boss, in all but two episodes of the show’s 168-episode run.
An eclectic mix of brands ranging from Pink’s Hotdogs to ABC 7 to Sony sponsored the evening. Navah Paskowitz-Asner told the press, “Every penny that we make that night, all proceeds help us to continue our programs for special needs families like our own. Matt and I have three autistic sons.”
You may have missed your chance to play with the celebrities this year, but the event will run again in 2023. Members of the public can buy into the event in an online auction for a chance to play, eat, and drink with Hollywood royalty.
With any luck, the event will continue to be a cornerstone of the poker calendar for many years to come.
Featured image source: Flickr