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    TBE Play For A Cause

    The time has come ...

    In 2006, I parked my motorbike just inside the large gates of the orphanage and walked into the central room. In it, among numerous children of various ages and infirmities, sat Huy. Huy was an 18 year old young man who sat daily in a wooden highchair, his broken body unable to allow him to walk or play since birth. His mind was sharp, his personality infectiously funny, and he always had a smile on his face, even when I had to wipe porridge from his mouth because he couldn't do it himself. Money was scarce for the Phu My Orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and the few hours I volunteered each week impressed the nuns who ran the orphanage almost as much as the children impressed me. I can only imaging what $100 would have done for Huy and his friends.

    This year you can play for your Huy - your cause. What is it that gets you up in the morning? Who have you met that has left an indelible impression on your soul? What wrong would you right if you could?

    I started this March Madness tournament pool in 2008 as a way to funnel a good time into good deeds. Heifer International, played for by Sara, received $100 that year.

    Past winners include:

    2008 - Heifer International (Sara) - $100
    2009 - Diabetes Research & Wellness Foundation (Dennis) - $90.
    2010 - Forever Young Foundation (Tuan) - $120.
    2011 - SOS Children's Villages (Roger) - $120
    2012 - ASPCA (Andres) - $120
    2013 - Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (Julie) - $200
    2014 - Baton Rouge Child Advocacy Center (Chrissy) - $260
    2015 - Children of Bahia (Roger) - $160
    2016 - Casa do Caminho (Roger) - $200

    So, I ask you for $10 - the price of a lunch at Au Bon Pain or a ticket to the movies on the weekend. Pick a cause you want to play for, and enter a bracket. No need to know anything about basketball to play and/or win. If you win, your cause gets the whole pot.

    For the price of a movie ticket, you can help Huy eat something better than porridge.

    See below for instructions on how to join:

    The official tourney is ran through ESPN's NCAA Tournament Challenge.

    1. Go to http://games.espn.com/tournament-challenge-bracket/2017/en/ and join/login (if your screen name isn't self-explanatory, please let me know who you are).

    2. Create a bracket (named for your charity).

    - Any bona fide US or international charity is ok. Personal/private accounts are not. Need help choosing? visit CharityNavigator.org.

    3. Join the group "TBE Play For A Cause 2017"

    4. Donate $10 per bracket via the Paypal link at the top right of this page: http://thebleedingear.blogspot.com/p/tbe-play-for-cause.html

    5. Selection Sunday is March 12, 2017

    6. Fill out the bracket between March 13-15, 2017.

    7. Watch the games starting Thursday, March 16, 2017 and root for your teams!

    The winner's charity gets all the cash, and you are entered into ESPN's $10,000 prize pool also!!

    Let's have some fun, and help others in the process. 

    FAQ:
    We will follow all the official ESPN tournament rules for scoring including tiebreakers.
    1. If you aren't sure who to play for, go to this post about a site that rates different charities. It might help you decide. Or ask me!
    2. You can enter as many brackets as you want, provided you pay $10 per bracket.

    Good luck! Contact me if you have any questions.