Explorer staff report

Angel Charity for Children, the charity dedicated to improving the lives of children in greater Tucson, has set a 2010 fund-raising goal of $1.009 million.

Additional donors have promised to contribute $875,000. Along with board-restricted funds, the total anticipated gift this year is $1.924 million.

"It's a record," said Erin Vincent, this year's fund-raising chairwoman. "We need help, especially because our goal is so much larger than even last year."

To meet the goal, Angel Charity has lined up several fund-raisers, which began last weekend with a fashion show.

Upcoming are:

• The annual Terracon golf tournament, at the Stone Canyon Golf Course in Oro Valley, this Friday, Sept. 17. Entry fees start at $200 for one golfer. The tournament has packages for individuals, foursomes and sponsors. Tee time in a shotgun format is 1 p.m. There are gift bags, games and awards. All proceeds go directly to Angel Charity beneficiaries.

• The fifth annual Angel Men's Poker Party, set for Friday, Oct. 8, at the Skyline Country Club. The casual Texas hold 'em poker tournament is limited to 90 players, with prizes awarded to the top eight winners. A $250 buy-in fee includes a buffet dinner and two drink tickets. Non-playing guests can enjoy dinner and cheer on their favorite poker players for $60.

"It's really an event for all levels of players," Vincent said. "Beginners have a great time."

One of this year's beneficiaries is the YMCA of Southern Arizona, which came forward with a lead gift of $300,000. The YMCA is receiving $400,544 to construct a 5,300-square-foot youth center extension at the Northwest YMCA.

This year's other beneficiaries are San Miguel High School, Pima Library Foundation and Gabriel's Angels.

"We are finding our donors to be as generous as they absolutely can in these challenging times," Vincent said. "It is a harder environment, but nevertheless our donors are true, and believe, and giving everything they can."

Angel Charity for Children, Inc. is an all-volunteer organization that believes "we can make a difference in the lives of the children in Pima County," a release said.

"The money we raise does stay in Pima County," Vincent said. There are 150 active members within the group. "We know we're making a huge impact in a year when there's historic federal and state funding cuts."

For the second year in a row, the charity has received a four-star rating for sound fiscal management from Charity Navigator. "We really are distinguished among non-profits in the country," Vincent said. "That's so huge."

Those interested in learning more, in volunteer opportunities or in donating directly to Angel Charity should visit www.angelcharity.org, or call 326-3686.

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