When Annie Duke commits to a cause and sets her mind to accomplish something, there is no stopping her, and she is deeply committed to Ante Up for Africa, the organization established by actor Don Cheadle and her to raise public awareness and funds for the humanitarian crisis taking place in Darfur, Africa. As part of her care for the organization, she is running the upcoming San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on its behalf.
Duke began getting in shape after the 2007 World Series of Poker upon realizing that she felt unhealthy and wanted to change. Cold turkey, she gave up cigarettes and caffeine and modified her diet to a completely organic one. In addition, she began exercising like never before and added long-distance running to her routine. By January of 2008, she was running nearly 20 miles at a time and training for a marathon. Upon choosing the June 1st Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, she made the choice to run with Ante Up for Africa in mind and to raise funds through sponsors.
There are several ways to contribute to Duke’s fundraising efforts. First, run with Duke for the 26.2 miles in San Diego, California. Register at RNRMarathon.com and indicate that you would like Ante Up for Africa (AUFA) on your race bib. Also, let Ultimate Bet know that you will be running with Duke, so the site can include you in an invitation to share a dinner with her the night before the race.
Another way to help the cause is to donate UltimatePoints on UltimateBet to Ante Up for Africa. Funds will be raised by how many points are accumulated, i.e. 1500 points equals 6 miles, 3000 points equals 13.1 miles, and 5000 points equals 26.2 miles. In addition, direct donations can be made to the organization at AnteUpForAfrica.org.
The inaugural Ante Up for Africa poker tournament took place at the 2007 World Series of Poker and raised over $700,000 for the cause. A celebrity invitational benefit tournament is scheduled for May 8th at the San Manuel Casino in Southern California, and a $5000 buy-in event will take place at the WSOP again this year – Wednesday, July 2nd – with the hopes of raising closer to $1 million. Duke and Cheadle are unselfishly committed to raising awareness and financial help for the people of Darfur, and with numerous fundraising events having been successful and more in the works, they seem to be accomplishing their goals.