Ante Up For Africa and The Enough Project
Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Herschel Walker, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Sarah Silverman, Jason Alexander, Cedric the Entertainer, Brad Garret, Montel Williams and Nelly…this is just a partial list of celebrities and athletes who joined Ante Up For Africa tournament founders Don Cheadle, Annie Duke and Norman Epstein for their 2009 Ante Up For Africa poker tournament…(if you’re able to read this posting in time, ESPN will broadcast the entire tournament tonight)
Participant Sarah Silverman reminds us what its all about: “You learn about the holocaust in school and you’re like, well that can never happen today because we would never let that happen today,” she said from the red-carpet, “But it’s happening. There’s a genocide happening.”
From the ENOUGH PROJECT: The dire crisis in Darfur is entering its sixth year. The conflict has killed 400,000 people and forced more than 3 million Darfuris to flee their homes. The recent expulsion of key international humanitarian groups by the government of Sudan in response to the International Criminal Court’s issuance of an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir has placed hundreds of thousands of the most needy at even greater risk and without access to medical care or reliable food supplies. President Bashir continues to utilize starvation as a weapon of war to silence his opponents and to distract the world from the key issues in Darfur. Now more than ever, there needs to be a dynamic international effort to move beyond simply treating the symptoms of Sudan’s crisis and focuses on ENDING it by forging a lasting and equitable peace for all of Sudan.
Ante Up For Africa has established itself as the premiere event to help end the crisis in Darfur, raising over $2 million since its inception in 2006 to help build a brighter future for the people of Sudan. “The greatest thing that you can do is educate the population about the problem,” said Annie Duke, “Because when some of those people who are then exposed to an issue that they might not have otherwise been exposed to find some passion in it, then they speak and our representatives listen and that’s really what creates the lasting change.”
Ante Up For Africa benefits two amazing organizations…‘The Enough Project’ and ‘Refugee International’s Sudan’ advocacy efforts…and they still need your help with another situation…our insatiable demand for electronics products such as cell phones and laptops is helping fuel a major conflict in Eastern Congo. This is the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman or girl, and the sexual violence there is often fueled by militias warring over conflict minerals, the ores that produce tin, tungsten, and tantalum—the 3 Ts— that end up being used in our electronic devices.
Check out the Enough Projects YouTube channel to view video posted by contestants who are raising awareness about the link between our cell phones and the violence in Congo. Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling, actress Sonya Walger from ABC’s “Lost,” and Oscar-nominated director Wim Wenders selected the best three videos and are asking us to vote for winner. Voting ends September 8…so check it out soon.
The next Ante Up for Africa event will be October 29 at the San Manuel Casino. For more info, visit Ante Up for Africa.
As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com
Magic Johnson Foundation Gets a Boost from Spike Lee, Phil Ivey Foundation BBQ& Poker Charity Event, Rafael Nadal Wipes the Smirk Off Roger Federer’s Face, Team Italy Takes a Beating from the Dutch, US Open Takes Over San Diego
MAKING MAGIC HAPPEN
The Magic Johnson Foundation, along with the Lakers’ legend himself, and director Spike Lee have teamed up to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS for two PSA’s, “Stand” and “Talk”. Lee directed the spots that feature Magic and his powerhouse of a wife Cookie encouraging the public to get informed about the disease, especially the younger population. “I think a lot of times we just don’t have the information,” Magic said, “Especially young people. They think they’re invincible and nothing can happen to them but the numbers are showing that those getting HIV are real young now. We have to now do something about that. If it was 16, 17, 18, 19 years ago you should be afraid because you don’t know what might happen and people were dying at alarming rates,” he says. “Now you have almost 30 drugs that can take care of you, and you can live a healthy and long life.”
A POKER BBQ PARTY FOR CHARITY
On July 1, the TANK at the Golden Nugget will host the Sixth Annual World Series of BBQ & Phil Ivey Charity Poker Event. Ivey wants you to join he and his hot poker buddies (a-hem, Antonio Esfandiari), and other poker pro’s & celeb’s including Phil Laak, Jennifer Tilly, Mike Matusow, Jennifer Harman, Carrot Top, a few Brunsons, Annie Duke, David Hasselhof, Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Negreanu, and Vince Neil to compete in some off-the-hook festivities such as Chutes & Ladders, Battleship, Operation, Hula-Hoops, and most importantly Phil Ivey’s $1000 No-Limit hold’em Charity Poker Tournement to benefit his new Budding Ivey Foundation. See my charity events page for more info and visit the Budding Ivey Foundation to learn about all the great things Ivey is doing to give back to the communities.
NADAL: FOURTH TIMES A CHARM
It took Rafael Nadal less than two hours to defeat Roger Federer (6-1, 6-3, 6-0) and win his fourth consecutive title at Roland Garros. Sunday’s victory also gave Rafa some impressive numbers to add to his resume: 28-0 for his career at the French Open; 115-2 on clay since April 2005; and 22-1 in clay-court finals. “I am humble,” Nadal said, “but the numbers are the numbers. If I am playing my best tennis ever, I’m never going to win 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 against Roger Federer, no? For sure, it’s impossible,” the second-ranked Nadal said. “He didn’t play very well. Everybody knows that.”
During the trophy ceremony, Federer, of course, didn’t smile and our classy Tapa felt compelled to apologize: “Roger, I’m sorry.” But, FINALLY, it seems that the Swiss Mister has reached into his soul and yanked outta a little bit ‘o praise for the King of Clay. “He dominated from the first point until the end,” said Federer, “It’s the strongest Rafa that I’ve ever seen. He was more dominant than the previous years. He no longer plays short balls, the way he did in the past. You can no longer attack him on his forehand, the way I could in the past. He is getting much more aggressive, and it’s becoming much more difficult…I still go out of this tournament with a positive mind-set. Not with a mind-set: ‘Oh my God, I had no chance today.’” Shhhh…you almost won me over with ‘strongest Rafa you’ve ever seen’…don’t blow it now R-Fed.
CIAO MY PRECIOUS COW-BELLS
Italy is feeling the pain in Fabio Cannavaro’s leg as much as the benched hottie is. Italy was powerless against the Netherlands who delivered a crushing 3-0 victory to my boys while I was out frolicking in the desert…all hope may not be lost though if Luca Toni can manage to pull some mojo outta his hat when they attack the weakest link in the Group of Death: Romania.
KATS IN MY YARD
Oh yeah…the US Open hot-hot-hotties have converged in my hood in attempts to tackle the greens at Torrey Pines while effectively dodging a certain redhead. Last time I checked, we had about 10,000 peeps per day for the Buick, and estimates for the Open are nearing 1000,000. This means traffic, closed roads, shuttle buses, no parking and long lines. You can certainly expect me to be there at some point in efforts to help Ian Poulter find better things to do with his time than watch videos of himself…
And I am also painfully aware that Justin Timberlake and Tony Romo were kicking it at the Pines over the weekend, but since I’ve already molested Justin Timberlake in Vegas, and Romo has been tainted by a certain blond, I preferred to be in the desert raising awareness for the Pro Team charities…
As always, thanks for reading.
D&D hit up the WPT Invitational at the Commerce Casino this weekend for their annual three-day celebrity event that raises money for various charities. Look for my in-depth ‘professional’ article on Look to the Stars this week, but in the meantime, I’m going give you the run down on our shenanigans.
There were a ton of celebrities in attendance. Granted, I was a bit rusty as far as who some of these people were, but by the end of the event, it was pretty easy to remember who they were and which charities they really care about. One of the most impressive people I met was actor Nicholas Gonzalez. Aside from the fact that he is drop-dead gorgeous, he isn’t just another pretty face. Gonzalez was playing for Friends of El Faro, an organization that helps needy kids and families in Tijuana. “One of the biggest proponents is Molly Simms, Shannon Elizabeth, Adam Rodriguez, and Sharon Lawrence has been a really huge supporter-there’s a lot of celebrity friends,” said Gonzalez, “We used to have big gala in Hollywood that’s very well attended, but really it’s about getting down there, it’s not about who anybody is, it’s about spending time with the kids.”
Someone who isn’t spending a lot of time with the kids, but who deserves some love is comedian Doug Benson (L). If you don’t know of him yet, you will. Benson worked the red carpet like a pro, and needed a little prodding before mentioning his new movie “Super High Me.” Also on the red carpet was actor Justin Henry®. Henry was filling in for Heath Ledger, who was scheduled to appear. “I’m playing for Heath,” he said as he posed for photos. To my disbelief, one of the photogs actually asked, “Who’s Heath?” Gotta give mad love to actor John Hawkes as well. Hawkes was knocked outta the poker tournement early on, so I spent some time chatting with him-unaware of who he was, but instantly fell in love with him. My new crush almost floored me when I asked which cause he was playing for. “The animals” he said, “I support Friends of Animals in Utah, they do great work for animals and I have been a supporter for a while.” I could have spent a week listening to John speak. (I felt like Gabriel Byrne on ‘In Treatment’ when he professes his love for Laura…)…
More love goes to Lakers beast Ronnie Turiaf. Turiaf has been coping with a heart aliment, but was in great spirits about it. “I’m feeling good,” he said, “You know, things happen for a reason, and I just try to make the best of it. God tests us all in different ways” And part of this ‘test’ includes a corroboration with NBA player/poet/humanitarian, Etan Thomas. Thomas recently underwent open-heart surgery. When I asked Turiaf what charity he was playing for, he dropped the bomb on me, “Right now, I’m working on putting together something with Etan Thomas so we can help others going through the same thing.” Damn-don’t tell me there ain’t any good guys in the NBA, we’ve got two of the best teaming up for a good cause…
And what would a WPT event be without the hottest poker player alive? Yes, I’m talking about Antonio Esfandiari. I’m predicting within a year he’ll be smiling at you from the pages of People Magazine as one of their ‘Hottest Men or Sexiest Men or Most
Edible Eligible Men’…I waited like a cougar as he walked the carpet with Camryn Manheim…and then I pounced (Perhaps scaring him a bit? Sorry Antonio-did the same thing to Phil Laak). Antonio is far too humble about his sex appeal, which is a good thing, because he’s got a lot to offer as far as charisma, charm, eloquence…and dear god those lips…I had to stop myself from…anyway – dude was classy, no doubt making the WPT proud they selected him as the new face of the Tour…and don’t tell me poker players can’t be sexy unless they dress up. Case in point: Phil Laak. Sweatshirt. Hoodie. Just-crawled-outta-bed-sexy-blond-locks. He’s hot. He gave me a hug. It was a beautiful thing. End of story…look for Antonio and Phil on Mojo’s ‘I Bet You’ which just got picked up for another season. If you don’t have Mojo, you can check the show out on-line. Get on the boat people, Antonio and Phil are delicious and I have my own personal ‘Bet’ for either one should they dare take me up on it…
All in all it was an awesome event which raised money for charity and gave Debbie and I yet another excuse to do what we love…eat, drink, and be merry with like minded people…including: superfine actor Dwayne Adway, Eric Paladino, Jennifer Tilly, Joshua LeBar, Joshua Morrow, Lucas Haas, Tom Everett Scott…and more. I’ll post a link to all the photos later, as well as a link to my article on LTS, where you’ll be able to read about all the celebrities and which charities they were playing for.