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Annie Duke Wins $700,000 for Refugees International as the second place victor on Celebrity Apprentice

Washington, D.C. – Refugees International thanked Annie Duke today for raising $700,000 for the agency’s life-saving advocacy on Celebrity Apprentice.  The championship poker player took second place in the contest, even though she raised far more money for her charity than Joan Rivers, the winner.  After Annie’s loss, her supporters launched a grassroots internet campaign to raise the $250,000 that Refugees International would have received from developer Donald Trump, the host of the show, and Celebrity Apprentice had she won.  

“I chose to be a part of Celebrity Apprentice because I knew that raising money for Refugees International would be an amazing experience,” said Annie Duke. “I really want people to have a better understanding of the crises in Darfur and the Congo and hope that people will be motivated to learn more from Refugees International. I took this opportunity seriously and regardless of the outcome, I know that I raised $700,000, which will make a real difference for refugees around the world.”

Annie chose Refugees International as her charity after years of supporting refugees in Sudan and the Congo. In September 2006, she began Ante Up for Africa with Don Cheadle and Norman Epstein to raise money for the 2.5 million people who have been forced out of their homes in Darfur. The successful charity poker event has raised $2.1 million since it began. Ante Up for Africa will continue to work closely with Refugees International, and its next event is July 2, 2009. Through her involvement with RI, her interest has expanded to refugee crises around the world, including the massive Iraqi displacement crisis.

“We’re extremely proud of Annie and the work she’s done for Refugees International,” said Refugees International’s President Ken Bacon. “Annie’s commitment to displaced people around the world is truly inspiring. All of us here at Refugees International would like to congratulate and thank Annie for all of her hard work.”

Refugees International advocates for lifesaving assistance and protection for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. As the leading advocacy organization on refugee crises, Refugees International successfully challenges policy makers and aid agencies to improve the lives of displaced people around the world. RI declines government or UN funding, allowing their advocacy to be fearless and independent. For more information, go to: www.refugeesinternational.org.

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For Immediate Release
Contact: Vanessa Parra 202-828-0110 ext. 225;
Vanessa@refugeesinternational.org