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Poker News | World Poker News

Charity Report: Ante Up for Africa Donates $600K to Darfur Charities

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When Ante Up for Africa was launched by actor Don Cheadle and poker pro Annie Duke in 2007, it quickly became one of the most respected and visible charity organizations in the poker community. In only three years, more than $2.5 million has been raised to aid groups that help refugees worldwide, specifically in Darfur, and $600,000 of that was the most recent amount raised in the first half of 2009.

From its inception, the purpose of Ante Up for Africa has been to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and utilize the generosity of the poker community to raise funds to help three charities that use their resources to provide aid to refugees and promote peace in the region. Those three charities benefited on August 10 to the tune of $600K that was divvied up by donating $300K to Darfur Peace & Development Organization, $150K to Refugees International, and $150K to Enough Project. Most of this money was raised at the 2009 World Series of Poker through the $5,000 buy-in Ante Up for Africa charity tournament, an event that was also broadcast on ESPN because of its philanthropic nature and star-studded playing field.

Cheadle said, “The crisis in Darfur is not over, and we’re grateful to all who participate in Ante Up for Africa to make these donations possible and hope that many more people will join us in the future.”

Duke added, “When we started Ante Up, we had no idea that so many people would respond and participate to combat the devastation in Darfur. It reaffirms our belief in humanity and drives us to do more for people in need.”

The Darfur Peace & Development Organization (DPDO) is an association born out of Darfur but not sponsored by the government, which allows it to provide aid to the refugee camps in the form of projects like the Women’s Center in the Kassab refugee camp in the northern part of Darfur and the construction of a high school for teens affected by the upheaval in their country. DPDO co-founder Omer Ismail noted, “The impact of these funds will be felt for many years as we try to bring some normalcy to those who have not known it for a long time.”

Refugees International has gained much acknowledgement due to Annie Duke’s appearance on The Celebrity Apprentice with that charity as the one of her choice. The organization provides assistance to and protection for people displaced all over the world but particularly in the Darfur region where it is needed the most. Its director of development Elain Martyn said of the contribution, “We are grateful to Ante Up for Africa for their generosity in helping us urge greater support for victims of violence in all of Sudan.”

The Enough Project has also been one close to Ante Up for Africa, and it was borne out of the Center for American Progress to help prevent genocide and crimes against humanity throughout the world. The field researchers in Darfur will benefit from the most recent donation, as it attempts to administer advocacy programs to urge more help from the U.S. government in that region of the world. Co-founder John Prendergast commented, “Ante Up’s support for Enough allows us to work on addressing the root causes of the suffering in Darfur, so the war and genocide can finally come to an end and Darfur’s displaced populations can go home in peace and security.”

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