Deal or No Deal game will raise money for after-school program

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 | 6:04 p.m. CDT; updated 9:36 p.m. CDT, Wednesday, April 10, 2013

COLUMBIA — Radio host Tom Bradley said he would be glad to emcee a game of Deal or No Deal for charity. 

But he refused to wear a bald cap to look like Howie Mandel, the host of the NBC game show.

That wasn’t a problem for the organizers. They found someone who could host the event without a bald cap: Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton.

The game will be held Thursday night at The Blue Note to raise money for The Intersection, a free after-school program in north Columbia. The Intersection provides students with hot meals, activities, classes and help with their homework.

Everyone who buys a ticket will join a pool of potential contestants. When a name is drawn, the audience member will come on stage with two or three friends to help make decisions. Two contestants will be chosen during the night, Bradley said.

On the NBC show, contestants win cash, but at the charity event they will win donated prizes equal to the cash values, ranging from $1 to $1,000. The remaining prizes will be auctioned off at the event.

The event's sponsors donated all the prizes and appetizers, and the venue is being rented at a discounted price, so almost all proceeds will go to The Intersection.

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 the day of the show. Only five of the 700 available tickets have been sold so far. Millie Lovett, general manager at The Blue Note, said people usually buy tickets on the day of the event.

In past years, sorority members in black cocktail dresses have served as models holding briefcases containing dollar amounts contestants can win. This year, local celebrities such as doctors, artists, professional dancers, radio hosts and broadcasters will take their place.

Matt Melton, the managing officer at Boone County National Bank, will serve as the banker, a figure who offers contestants dollar sums to quit the game before they hit the jackpot.

Bradley and Melton described the night as fun and upbeat but with a mission of helping others. Before the game begins, Bradley will give a presentation about The Intersection.

“What The Intersection does is just, you can’t put a price on that,” Melton said. “It’s a lot of fun, everybody has a great time, but it’s for such a great cause.” 

Supervising editor is Richard Webner.

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