Celebrity CIO Fundraiser

Overview of ITWomen's Annual Celebrity CIO Scholarship Fundraiser

ITWomen Annual Scholarship Fundraiser

The ITWomen CIO Celebrity Poker Tournament & Casino Night Gala is one of the most popular charitable events in the IT community in South Florida, raising funds for scholarships and ITWomen Inspire programs. ITWomen holds its annual fundraiser in November, the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

Funds for four-year, renewable scholarships raised at the gala are awarded the following June to young women selected from South Florida high schools. These outstanding and deserving young women are pursuing degrees in Technology and Engineering in the STEM academic fields. In addition, funds raised help underwrite FREE Robotics & Coding Summer Camps for Middle and High School Girls across our local South Florida community.


6:00 – 7:00 pm

  • Pre-Tournament VIP Reception.
  • Opening acknowledgements – special recognition: ITWomen president Claire Marrero.

7 – 10 pm 

  • Gourmet Buffet stations throughout the evening.
  • Dessert stations throughout the evening.
  • Cash bar
  • Live music.
  • Poker Tournament played until a grand prize winner emerges. Typically, five CIOs will be seated with five donors/players who are typically seated at each of the four tournament tables.
  • Casino floor games. Attendees purchase tickets to play casino-like games such as Blackjack or roulette for various prizes, while others prefer to watch the Tournament to see who is left at the tables at the end of the evening.
  • Prizes awarded to top Tournament and Casino winners.


There are six ways to gain admission to the ITWomen CIO Celebrity Poker Tournament & Casino Night:

  • Sponsor Partner (Sustaining, Terabyte, Gigabyte, Megabyte, Kilobyte)
  • Scholarship Donor – Tournament Player
  • Individual VIP Patron
  • Invited Celebrity CIO
  • CIO-Invited support team member
  • Sponsor-invited team member

The Partners
ITWomen Sponsor Partners, Tournament Players and Patrons are the heart of our fundraiser, making scholarships possible for our outstanding young women. Partners receive a host of benefits, including a certain number of admission tickets depending on their partnership level.

See More Partnership Benefits

Honorary Scholarship Donor-Players 
A seat at the tournament tables is gained through Partnerships. Tournament players provide the excitement of the tournament, competing with each other and the CIOs in Texas Hold’em Poker games. The Honorary CIO Poker Players vie to win a grand prize and other luxury prizes. If an invited CIO wins first place in the tournament, a scholarship is named in his or her honor. Typically, five CIOs play alongside 5 Honorary Players at each of four tables.

The CIOs
The CIOs invited to play in the Tournament play a starring role as the “Celebrities” of the fundraiser. They represent a variety of industries and staffing. The opportunity to meet the CIOs is one of the draws for many of our corporate sponsors and scholarship donors, including educators, recruiters, and vendors. The majority of the invited CIOs are based locally, but some fly in from out-of-state to support the ITWomen scholarship program. The CIOs’ companies are promoted publicly in newsletters, sponsor invitations, websites and social media throughout the weeks leading up to the event. .

The CIO Support Teams
Some CIOs like to make the evening a team building event and invite staff (and/or spouses) to enjoy the casino night and cheer them on in the tournament. Please contact ITWomen for available table options.

For Partnership Opportunities,
Contact Claire Marrero, ITWomen President