The Santa Barbara City Fire Department is hosting a benefit poker tournament this Sunday Jan. 30 in support of Fire Captain Mike Moses’ fight against cancer.

Held at the Carriage and Western Art Museum, the fundraiser will feature a Texas Hold ’Em-style poker tournament for prizes including plasma TVs and iPod nanos. Kara Scott, a world-renowned poker player and television personality who participated in both the 2008 and 2009 World Series of Poker, will also attend the event.

City firefighter Mike Detonce said the whole station has taken up the cause.

“This event is extra important to us because we live with Mike day in and day out,” Detonce said. “We are channeling our charity efforts for one of our own.”
In addition to poker, the event will include a barbeque, open bar and local cover band One Eyed Willie. A raffle will also take place with prizes including custom surfboards, a diamond earring and necklace set and a new apple iPad.

Santa Barbara City Firefighters Association President Tony Pighetti said Moses is widely recognized as a vital member of the community.

“Mike has been serving the community as both a lifeguard and firefighter for the past 33 years,” Pighetti said. “His presence has been instrumental in getting our fire stations to the level of service they are at today.”

According to Pighetti, Moses is also actively involved with activities outside the fire station, including skiing and surfing. Pighetti said Moses’ newest venture, an organic avocado farm in Carpinteria, has received the support of many locals.

“Mike has received huge support from the police association, local businesses and the Santa Barbara community as a whole,” Pighetti said. “He truly is an all-American kid.”

Dani Pietro, a second-year political science major, said the event demonstrates the community’s support during trying circumstances like Moses’.

“It is nice to see that people care enough to do something to help him,” Pietro said. “It would be nice if students decide to spend the money to support a good cause.”

Donations cost $75 for tournament entry, food and drinks, $25 for food and drinks only and $10 for each raffle ticket.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit