Geri Peterson came to be a pool player when her father bought her sister a pool table for her birthday. It was set up in such a small room, she remembers, they had to use short cues and open all the doors and windows in order to play.

In the beginning, her dad won regularly. “Call me when you’re ready,” he would say. Peterson kept improving and eventually she was beating him regularly. So he sold the pool table.

Today, Peterson and her team belong to the American Poolplayers Association division in Hemet. She has been the women’s division representative for the past four years.

She will be taking her five-woman team to Las Vegas this Aug. 13 to 16 for the APA National Team Championships. In 2011, the team, named “Where the Boys Can’t Play,” finished fifth in the nation — the first team from this county to finish that high in 15 years.

This year the team will return to Las Vegas hoping to bring home the gold. But Peterson and her four teammates, Lisa Timm, Becky Prater, Louise Wood and Vicky Sundholm, need sponsorship. They have money for their entry fee, but they still need funding for their hotel rooms and meals for four nights and the gas to get there. They figure $2,000 total will cover two rooms, food and gas for the five of them for the trip, but they need to raise the money by Aug. 1 in order to book their stay.

Peterson says that sponsorship donations in any amount will be most gratefully accepted at Fairway Market where she works.