Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Poker Team Picks AHA And Cancer Institute

LAS VEGAS — The 2007 Queen of Hearts Team — a team of women poker pros, celebrities, and executives that will compete in the 2007 World Series of Poker Ladies Event — will be raising funds for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women Campaign and the Nevada Cancer Institute (NVCI), which is the official community relations partner of the World Series of Poker.

The team includes: Lisa Tenner, co-captain and founder; Mimi Rogers, co-captain; Jennifer Tilly; J.J. Liu; Vanessa Rousso; Jennifer Leigh, Clonie Gowen, Isabelle Mercier, Mary Jones; and Susie Isaacs. Some new team additions also include Lisa Wheeler, poker journalist; Elizabeth Shepherd, real estate broker; Mary Magazine, attorney; Stacie Orloff, luxury watch maker; and Anne Spinetti and Mylene Leitner, two accomplished amateur champions.

"We are sponsored this year by the Poker Players Alliance, which has provided the first donation to the team and the charities," said Tenner, who owns Tenner & Associates, Inc. "Thanks to our sponsor and this great group of women who have accumulated individual winnings well into the millions, our Team expects to exceed its 2006 total."

Each of the Queen of Hearts team members will play in the World Series of Poker Ladies' No Hold'em Event June 10-11 at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, an event that was won in previous years by Jones (2006), Tilly (2005) and Isaacs (1996 and 1997). The players will also commit funds from any winnings in the Ladies event. Funds raised by the Queen of Hearts Team will benefit the Las Vegas Office of the American Heart Association and Nevada Cancer Institute.

"We appreciate the support of the community and of the Queen of Hearts Team," said Clark Dumont, vice president of communications and public affairs for NVCI. "This financial support will help us in pursuing our mission of preventing, detecting, educating, caring and curing cancer throughout our communities."

Poker events and other friendly competitions continue to have tremendous fundraising potential for non-profit organizations and worthwhile causes. Tenner does an especially great job at pulling together a highly visible team to compete at a very visible event. What we like about it is that it can also be duplicated for smaller venues. Smaller companies can host a less visible but equally rewarding competition such as a poker party (or team with an industry association) to raise funds for charities, with all or most of the proceeds donated to the cause of their choice.

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