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San Manuel casino hosts Darfar fundraiser

25 April 2008

SAN MANUEL INDIAN NATION, California -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- On Thursday, May 8, professional Poker player Annie Duke and Academy Award nominee(R) Don Cheadle will be onsite at San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland. They will be hosting a celebrity Poker tournament and exclusive VIP after party to raise awareness and funds for the Ante Up For Africa project with proceeds going to the Not On Our Watch Project.

NOOW, which was founded by actors George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Matt Damon, and Brad Pitt, has embarked to focus global attention and resources towards putting an end to mass atrocities around the world. The group has adopted the crisis in Darfur, Africa, as its inaugural campaign. Drawing on the powerful voices of artists, activists and cultural leaders, (NOOW) generates lifesaving humanitarian assistance and protection for the vulnerable, marginalized and displaced.

"The crisis in Darfur is an issue very close to my heart," said the organization's co-founder, Don Cheadle. "San Manuel understands the severity of this crisis and is helping us use the popularity of Poker to spread the word."

In addition to hosting the awareness event, San Manuel has pledged a $75,000 donation to (NOOW) to support their mission and help alert the public about the Darfur crisis. "We are thrilled to be joining forces with Annie Duke and Don Cheadle to support such a worthy cause," said James Ramos, Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians. "We hope our efforts will help draw mass attention to this very important issue that affects us all, and inspire others to get involved."

This star studded event, which will feature a number of prominent celebrities and poker professionals, will help raise public awareness for the Darfur conflict in Africa, with which Duke and Cheadle are very involved. The Texas Hold'em Poker Tournament, which will be held at 6:30 pm in the casino's Yuhaviatam room, is an invitation only event, limited to high-end players, poker professionals and celebrity poker enthusiasts. In lieu of a cash prize, the winner of the tournament will receive a celebrity autographed custom poker table, courtesy of the casino.

"Poker is a great way of raising awareness," Duke said. "We encourage anyone who wants to enjoy a very special evening with some of the biggest names in entertainment and gaming while helping to ease the suffering of millions of Darfur refugees to come out to San Manuel and support this wonderful cause."

After the tournament, the poker pros and celebrities will join other VIPs at an exclusive after party at the casino to celebrate the grand opening of their chic and trendy new steakhouse/lounge, "The Pines." The party will kick off with a "red carpet" press line, providing interview and photo opportunities with numerous celebrities. Once inside, VIPs will enjoy a night of great music, dancing and great food, as they sample an array of the tantalizing items from the restaurant's new menu. A silent auction held during the tournament will allow attendees to bid on various autographed promotional items, with all donations going directly to (NOOW).

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