Professional poker player Annie Duke has teamed up with actor Don Cheadle to present the 2008 Ante Up For Africa poker tournament at the World Series of Poker(r)at 2pm (PT) on Wednesday, July 2nd at the Rio(r) All-Suite Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Over the last four years, fighting in the Darfur region of western Sudan has left 200,000 dead and driven another 2.5 million people from their homes. Now, having survived violence, atrocities and abductions, they are living in squalor in refugee camps in Chad and Sudan. The situation is definitely grim but there is some good news: the world is finally starting to pay attention, in no small part due to concerned citizens who are ratcheting up the heat on political leaders and demanding an end to the violence.
Last year's event featured dozens of Hollywood celebrities and poker professionals including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Adam Sandler, Ray Romano, Cheryl Hines, Mekhi Phifer and many more and raised more than $700,000 for the victims of the humanitarian crisis in Darfur.
Rebecca Gayheart and Brett Ratner raise money for Chrysalis
Chrysalis (http://www.changelives.org) is Los Angeles' only nonprofit exclusively dedicated to helping economically disadvantaged and homeless individuals become self-sufficient through employment opportunities. They currently help more than 2,200 individuals each year change their lives through jobs. Sitting on their board are Rebecca Gayheart and Brett Ratner. I've been told that Rebecca is responsible for creating one of Chrysalis' largest fundraisers, The Butterfly Ball, and has taught classes and been a spokesperson for the organization. Brett Ratner, during the making of Rush Hour 3, collected $1,000 for Chrysalis by having people donate money to the organization every time their cell phone rang on set! (Note: now if we can just get people to donate money when their cell phone rings in the MOVIES!) Check out this YouTube video too!Wilmer Valderramma is Hispanic Ambassador for the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation
Through public appearances, public service announcements, other means of communication, Hispanic Ambassadors are committed to increasing awareness of the PRC's (Paralysis Resource Center) mission promoting the health and well-being of people living with a spinal cord injury, mobility impairment or paralysis by providing comprehensive information, resources and referral services, and grants.
The Paralysis Resource Center (PRC), a program of the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation and formed through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, has established a Multicultural Outreach Program to promote informed health care decisions and active and independent living among those in the Hispanic, African-American, Asian-American/Pacific Islander and Native American communities living with paralysis.
At a recent event for the Foundation, Wilmer said, “I feel blessed to be a part of something so classy and so fantastic. I was always looking for different charities to be a part of. I read the brochure and I really loved what they're about which is promoting life after tragedy, which is so uplifting. It shows people there's a second chance at life.”
Celebrities Learned through the Arts
The Center for Arts Education (CAE), is a voice in restoring, stimulating and sustaining arts education in NYC schools, and has launched it’s first-ever “Celebrity Yearbook.” Published for the first time online, CAE’s “Celebrity Yearbook” is a compilation of familiar faces who share their stories about learning through the arts and how it has affected their careers and their lives today. Exposure to the arts has influenced today’s leaders in a number of fields – from politics to entertainment to finance. CAE’s Celebrity Yearbook has been created as a means to raise awareness about the important impact of arts education in children and the need for arts education as part of a quality, well rounded education. As proven by CAE’s inaugural class of familiar names including Tony Bennett, Heather Graham, Sutton Foster, Ed Koch, Barbara Corcoran, Ken Burns, and others, experiences in arts learning can have a positive and lifelong influence lasting well beyond a child’s school days.
CAE is asking these and other leading names to do the following: Share a memory or story about arts learning and how the arts influenced you growing up. The Yearbook helps to raise awareness about the need for arts education in NYC public schools. Read excerpts from CAE’s Celebrity Yearbook here.