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Remembering 9/11: Matt Martin Foundation hosts casino night to raise money for first responders

Remembering 9/11: Matt Martin Foundation, Islanders help raise $350,000 for first responders
Remembering 9/11: Matt Martin Foundation, Islanders help raise $350,000 for first responders 01:49

JERICHO, N.Y. -- On Long Island, they were remembering 9/11 and giving back to honor the victims.

A charity event that pitted community members against professional athletes was held Monday night.

CBS New York went to Jericho, where they were raising money for a good cause.

More than 500 people were going all in on a casino night with some special guests -- the New York Islanders.

READ MORERemembering 9/11: 22 years later

Fans paid to play poker with the players, and if they knocked them out, they got a signed jersey. But they were buying in to give back to those who give so much to us -- first responders.

"I'm a dog lover and I'm a first responder lover. We wanted to try to get service dogs for people in need of them," Islanders forward Matt Martin said.

The Matt Martin Foundation was behind the seventh annual tournament held at Opus Steakhouse.

"On average, it costs about $35,000 to get one dog fully trained. Our goal tonight is to have at least four service dogs from this event," said Bryan Calka, director of the Matt Martin Foundation.

"We call this our premiere event because there is no money taken out of anything," said Michael Kaminsky, owner of MTK Casino Parties.

READ MOREThousands of volunteers mark 9/11 Day of Service at Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

Organizers said money raised will also go to the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which honors the legacy of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, by helping families of fallen first responders.

Long Beach Police Officer Michael DeMarino was on hand selling apparel and donating proceeds to the foundation.

"It hits home with me personally. My father he passed away from 9/11-related cancer. I would not be a cop today if it wasn't for my father," DeMarino said.

He was among the many filling the room, hoping to have a hand in making a difference.

"People come out here because they just want to raise money and have fun for men and women who need the help," Calka said.

More than $350,000 was raised for the cause making everyone in attendance a winner.

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