Professionals Pool Their Talents for Maria’s Benefit

Professionals Pool Their Talents for Maria's Benefit

Over the weekend of May 1st and 2nd, local pool players got to get autographs, rub shoulders, and have their pictures taken with pool greats Johnny "The Scorpion" Archer, Buddy "The Rifleman" Hall, 3-time World Trick Shot Champion Mike Massey, Dan "The Man" Louie, and Rich "The Hat" Geiler. The real star of the show was Geiler's niece, Maria Federici, a beautiful 24 year old who was driving home from work when an unsecured 2x6 from someone else's vehicle crashed through her windshield and hit her in the face, causing massive facial and brain injuries. Quoting from her website,, "Maria Federici graduated with honors last summer from the UW with her degree in Speech Communications and was planning on going back for her Masters. Maria is someone who is full of life and spirit; she has a great sense of humor, a real wit with a sense of irony. Maria is a beautiful young lady who is mature beyond her 24 years. She's very bright & extremely independent and was on the Deans list in college while working two jobs to pay for her education."

Since Maria had no insurance, several benefits have been held to raise money for her surgeries, care and rehabilitation. It is a testament to the kindness of people across the nation who came together to donate time and resources to make this benefit a success. Besides the players who gave their time gratis, Rich and Linda Carter garnered donations from many people who made it happen and especially want to thank:

Kennedy High School, Burien, WA - use of the gym over the weekend, plus volunteers to sell snacks
The Cue Ball in Salem, OR - a gorgeous Olhausen table that was autographed by all the players and Maria, to be auctioned later
Leo Hancock Billiards Service - felt and labor, and chairs for the players
Party Rentals
13 Coins - food for the players
Westgate Hotel - rooms for the players
Kinko's - flyers
AAA Billiards in Woodinville, WA - balls and rack, chalk
Talking Rain - beverages
Costco - snacks
Beads and Billiards, Jessi Krauser - cues, billiard accessories, Sharpies!, and time at the benefit
Sunset Billiards, Sean Finney - Autographed cue and rack from the 2003 Glass City Open
Dunn Lumber
Burien Studios, Chuck - setup studio for photos with the pros
Ford - MC Extraordinaire
runout Sportswear, Allen Hopkins - $761 in merchandise (T-shirts, hats and stickers), William Cardoza - 36 exquisite posters by Arthur Robins
Chinook Winds Casino and Convention Center, an Enterprise of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz
Indians of Oregon - Dinner and show tickets for 2, T-shirts, clocks, accessories
Jennifer (nrautomotive) - Wine tasting at EB Foote Winery and free sitting and 11x14 photo from Photography by Steve
Chalk and Cue Magazine, Sheri Richardson - 2 5-year subscriptions
Viking Cues - cues
Jerry Gernet - black billiards shirt
Michael Zimmerman - 4 pool shirts and 4 different pool ties
Carina Carter - 10-ball super bounce ball
Winners American Grill - 7 free appetizers and a $25 gift certificate
Best Eats - 15 -$15 off 2 dinner entrees coupons
Pit Stop - $30.00 gift certificate
Tony Roma's - 4 - $5 off coupons
Puetz Golf - $70 in merchandise and range time
My Free Travel - 48 free hotel stays
Fundraising at Pike Place Market, Susan Sauls - display cabinet donated by American Products of Auburn, Seattle Products of Kent and Laird Plastics of Seattle. Auction sponsored by eBay and Rolling Stone Magazine.
The Loft Night Club in Tacoma, Roger Rahil - free time and facilities for charity events
Dr. Jim Stephens in Tukwila - Endodontic and root canal work for Maria
Ricardo Andres Design in Bothell, Rick Galvez - upgrade Maria's home to accommodate future needs, donating permits and architectural work
EJ's Professional Home Assistance, Evelyn Houser - housecleaning for Maria and her mother
Holly Pratt - dog sitting for Maria and her mother
Salmonberry Designs, Sherry Palmiter - webmaster, helped design and posted flyers on
Craig Hancock and the Eastside Amigos - publicity and newsletter. Quote: "Thanks also to the wonderful media outlets that covered this benefit on a VERY busy first weekend in May: with Opening Day of the Boating Season; the Kentucky Derby; great sunny outdoor weather in Seattle; and with various other worthy charitable events going on this weekend in town."
Newcastle News, Christina Ermey
King County Journal
Highline Times
The Seattle P-I
On the Break - donated space
On the Wire - donated space

On Saturday, the show got started at 4pm, and featured World Champion pool players Johnny Archer from GA, (4-time World Champion and Player of the Decade), Buddy Hall from FL, (BCA Hall of Famer with over 70 pro titles), and our two local champions, Dan Louie (former World Champion) and Rich Geiler in a round robin tournament, playing sets of 6. The sets went: Dan Louie 1, Buddy Hall 5; Johnny Archer 5, Rich Geiler 1; Rich 2, Buddy 5; Johnny 6, Dan 0; Rich 2, Dan 4; and Johnny 3, Buddy 3. Totals were Johnny 14, Buddy 13, and Dan and Rich tied with 5 apiece. All the players displayed fantastic shot-making and knowledge of the game. If you love pool, there was no finer place to be than the gymnasium at Kennedy High School in Burien.

Then Mike Massey, who hails from TN, assisted by his wife, Francine and their dog, put on a spellbinding artistic shot show that got the crowd on their feet. Mike has such a repertoire of favorite shots that no one wanted it to end. He got fans from the audience to shoot some of them (including the one underneath the dog's belly!) and the finger pool was outstanding, as usual, although Francine made it very challenging, requiring the ball to make a 90 degree turn with 4" clearance!

On Sunday, it was more great pool action, but round 2 did not finish, as the format changed a little. Two matches were played and Rich got another game from the previous day's score over Johnny, and so did Dan from Buddy, both finishing 2-4.

A double elimination, race to 5 tournament was started, and with 5 pros, that left 3 open bye spots, which were put up to the crowd to bid on. The bye spots were against Johnny, Buddy and Mike Massey, and the high bidder got to choose which player they would be pitted against first round. Bidding was frenzied and the first player to win a coveted spot was Shawn McIntosh, paying $220. He elected to play Buddy Hall. Turns out he got the cheapest spot. The excited bidding continued for the next spot, and Tracy Orcutt won, paying even more, $250,to play Johnny Archer. The last spot to go was bid at a fever pitch and the winner was Leo Hancock, paying $300 to play against Mike Massey. Not too many 'civilians' can say they have battled on the green turf against one of these guys in tournament conditions. The surprising thing was that Leo gave up his spot to his 10-yr.-old daughter, Molly. Molly was scared, but coached by Johnny Archer and Linda Carter, hit 2 great 9-ball combos to take a respectable 2 games. (My combo was harder, Johnny!) The player that won the most games against their pro won an autographed cue. The winner was Shawn, who shot an excellent set of 9-ball.

During both the round robin and the double elimination tournament (which because of time constraints did not finish), someone out of the crowd would yell that they would donate $50 for a 9 on the break or a runout, and the player would match it. Johnny even donated his break cue and his jump cue, and had to go looking for one when he needed to jump! All of these players with the big strokes also have very big hearts, donating their time and talents, and visited with Maria on Saturday at Good Samaritan Hospital in Puyallup.

Surprise guests on Sunday were basketball players Shawn Kemp and Steve Sheffler, who graciously accommodated fans with pictures and autographs. They are both great athletes, but they still needed remedial lessons on how to form a bridge!

Mike Massey entertained the audience with another artistic shot show, displaying his formidable stroke and making that cueball dance. He performed the Impossible Escape shot and managed an impressive 7 out of 8 boot shots over the weekend, one of which was aimed at a cameraman! The boot shot is a jump shot off the table into an open boot on the floor about 4 feet away from the table. More amazing finger pool followed, and Rich Geiler performed his trademark 3-rail 'kick' shot, using his shoe. Given free reign, Rich is just hilarious. Poking jokes at his stutter, and everything he can think of, he kept the crowd rolling at his one liners, stealing the show several times from every player there. But it was all in good fun and after the extravaganza, it was estimated that over $22,000 had been raised over this very successful weekend for Maria.

From the opening of the gymnasium doors to the wrap party at 13 Coins, the dedicated and tired core group and Maria's family want to extend their thanks to everyone involved. Thank you so much to the players, the people who donated their time and services, and most especially to the fans who ponied up the admission price to share a wonderful magical weekend for a wonderful woman with an indomitable spirit.

As to updates about Maria, preliminary discussions with the "Oprah" show are underway with family members. A foundation to aid in the long-term rehabilitation care of Maria, and to help other similarly affected accident victims (injured by unsecured loads on roadways) is also in the works. Donations can still be made to Maria Federici Trust. Send to Wells Fargo Bank, c/o Lee Tune. P.O. Box 21927, Seattle, WA 98111.