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Volunteers prepare for Ypsi PRIDE Day
By Mark Tower
May. 13, 2010   ·   7:09 a.m.

Volunteers and W.H. Canon employees plant flowers in Depot Town while Ypsilanti resident Mike Labadie repairs the planter's brick work on Ypsi PRIDE Day last year.

Each year, residents in and around the city of Ypsilanti carry on a tradition started by a group of community members enrolled in a city leadership program, a sort...read more

Bicycles zoom as flowers bloom
By Citizen staff
Apr. 30, 2010   ·   2:11 p.m.

Riders from last year's spring ride come in after a long trip. Bike Ypsi’s 2010 Spring Ride and Festival is from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Sunday at Recreation Park (1015 Congress Street).

The weather has turned, the trees are budding and the flowers are popping out of the ground; time for a cruise through town. But don’t be so quick to hop in the...read more

Sheriff Clayton visits Ypsilanti Township
By Mark Tower
Apr. 29, 2010   ·   12:59 p.m.

Ypsilanti Township resident Kathleen Hanadel takes notes as her and other residents attempt to asses WCSO services Tuesday evening at a community forum held at the township's community center.

About 50 Ypsilanti Township residents gave the Washtenaw County Sheriff Office their input about law enforcement in the community Tuesday evening.

The information...read more

Local photographer raising funds for Ypsi Project exhibit
By Adrienne Ziegler
Apr. 20, 2010   ·   2:20 a.m.

Ypsilanti resident Nicholas Beltsos his grandson Demetrios were photographed by Project Ypsi photographer Erica Hampton during a bike ride she took Monday. A former EMU economics professor, Beltsos and his family moved to Ypsi from Dearborn in 1967.

Ypsilanti has many faces, and Erica Hampton wants to share a few of them with you.

Over the past year, Hampton created the The Ypsi Project, a series of portraits...read more

Savoy taking shape as live music venue
By Dan DuChene
Apr. 17, 2010   ·   2:38 p.m.

Local funk band Third Coast Kings play in Ypsilanti's newest live music venue, Savoy, Friday night.

Ypsilanti's newest concert venue is preparing for its grand opening weekend April 23, more than a month after its soft opening March 13.

Formerly Club Divine,...read more

New downtown entertainment offers fundraising for charity

Left to right: Matt Copper, Rob Oas and Garett Cooper sit at a table near a poker game at their new charity poker business, Coop's, in Downtown Ypsilanti. Photo by Dan DuChene

Left to right: Matt Copper, Rob Oas and Garett Cooper sit at a table near a poker game at their new charity poker business, Coop's, in Downtown Ypsilanti.
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Coop's takes over Buffalo Wild Wings, offers something to community

By Dan DuChene
Dec. 29, 2008    ·    11:52 a.m.


Ypsilanti’s new entertainment destination uses Texas Hold’em poker to benefit community charities.

Garett Cooper and his partners, Rob Oas and brother Matt, opened Coop’s all in 4 Charity in mid October at the former site of the downtown Buffalo Wild Wings.

Business has been good for Coop’s, having signed several area non-profits for their services. To date, the Hemophilia Foundation of Michigan, Habitat for Humanity and the Ypsilanti Area Jaycees have already held fundraisers at Coop’s, called millionaire parties.

Coop’s houses the millionaire parties for non-profit organizations that receive a four-day gaming license from the state. The parties run every night from Thursday to Sunday at 5 p.m. and ending at 2 a.m. It takes about six weeks to get a license from the state.

Anyone more than 18 years old can come in to play some poker on those nights of operation. The game operates very much like normal, except 10 percent of every pot is “raked.” For instance, $6 would be taken off the top of a $60 pot.

All the earnings are then tabulated at the end of the night, and 50 percent of that rake goes straight to the charity. The other 50 percent is kept by Coop’s.

The business offers the housing of the event, dealers for the games and marketing to bring people in. They also assist non-profits in getting their paper work in order. But, because the charity actually has the gaming license, the charity is “the house,” not Coop’s. Thus, Coop’s asks that two volunteers from the charity run the cash services during parties, Coop’s employees are not allowed.

“We are a for-profit trying to help non-profits,” Garett said.

All of these practices are strictly laid out by the state, the owners said. Even the amount of Coop’s take and marketing information must adhere to how the state allows these businesses to operate.

Coop’s is a non-smoking, non-drinking environment. The owners say they like it like that.

“I think charities really enjoy the atmosphere,” Garett said. “It’s not bringing in a rowdy crowd.”

If a non-profit so chose, they could apply for a temporary liquor license from the state. But, Coop’s has no intentions of doing so themselves. They said it could bring in more business, but could also create more problems.

While games other than poker are allowed under the non-profit gaming license, Coop’s owners feel that their practice most benefits the house, or charity. Unlike blackjack, or other games, poker is not played against the house. Coop’s method always allows money to go to the charity.

Garett said he feels Coop’s not only brings another entertainment establishment to the Ypsilanti community, but also a fundraising option for local non-profits.

“We’re bringing in local poker players who want to play,” he said. “These are people coming from our community to play in our community.”

Oas said poker players are going to go somewhere to play poker if they want to play poker. Rather than leaving Ypsilanti, they can stay right here and play for charity. Coop’s is also starting to attract some business from out of town.

Coop’s owners hope to expand the number of tables and bring in more people by increasing their customer base. They said business is kind of sporadic at the moment, and they would like to see more regulars at the tables.



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