Sunnyvale man to be remembered with poker tournament

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In July 2007, friends and family were shocked by the news that Mark Stern, a seemingly healthy 33-year-old from Sunnyvale, was diagnosed with testicular cancer that rapidly spread to his back and lungs.

Nearly two weeks after Stern was admitted to the hospital, he died from sudden cardiac arrest, leaving behind his wife, Maytal, his now 2-year-old daughter, Zoe, and many friends and family members.

To honor Stern’s life, longtime friend Steve Krause organized a no-limit Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament and silent auction to be held from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 23 at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. All proceeds from the evening will go toward establishing a college fund for Zoe.

“A poker tournament is so Mark,” said Krause, who hopes to raise about $25,000. “I wanted to have a party that Mark would love to come to. He would love to be here, and it’s going to be strange not to have him.”

About 200 people are expected at the event, which includes a full bar, hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and the option of playing “friendly” games of blackjack for chips that can be traded for raffle tickets.

A week’s stay for 10 at a private villa in Italy, a guided boat tour of San Francisco Bay and a 42-inch plasma television are just a few of the silent auction items that participants can bid on, while new items are coming in every day, Krause said.

“The response from the community has been astonishing. There have been so many people who I did not expect to give anything, but when I explain the situation, they give joyously. It’s just so lovely and wonderful to be a part of.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills. Cost is $39 per person and cocktail attire is requested. To RSVP or for more information, visit www.inmemoryofmark.org or call Steve Krause at (650) 996-2039.