IPPA Chips in to Raise Money for Foster Children’s Charity on Oscar Night

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The stars came out Sunday on Hollywood’s biggest night to raise money and awareness for foster children at the 11th annual Children Uniting Nations Awards Celebration and After Party presented by The Hollywood Reporter and TV Guide Magazine at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom. The International Poker Players Association (IPPA) followed up with great celebrity poker to help raise money for the cause.

The stars came out Sunday on Hollywood’s biggest night to raise money and awareness for foster children at the 11th annual Children Uniting Nations Awards Celebration and After Party presented by The Hollywood Reporter and TV Guide Magazine at the Beverly Hilton’s International Ballroom. The International Poker Players Association (IPPA) followed up with great celebrity poker to help raise money for the cause.

The IPPA, along with 11-time World Series of Poker champion Phil Hellmuth Jr., Maria Ho, Lacey Jones, Yosh Nakano, Tom Schneider, Marsha Waggoner, Bruce Buffer (UFC) announcer, Galina Liss, and Los Angeles Lakers CEO Frank Mariani, played poker with celebrities and attendees to raise money for CUN, with Hellmuth Jr. and actor Miguel Nunez serving as co-hosts of the CUN Celebrity Poker Contest, which was directed by Yosh Nakano, president of the International Poker Players Association.

The red carpet featured famous faces from music, television, film and poker. “American Idol” finalist and recording artist Kimberly Caldwell, ’80s pop star Debbie Gibson, and music legends Chaka Khan and Freda Payne, along with TV stars Jimmy Jean-Louis, Daphne Zuniga, James Pickens Jr. & Gloria Garayua and film stars Samm Levine, Rosanna Arquette and Brandon Molale all spoke with more than 45 media outlets representing seven countries about the important work of Children Uniting Nations. Hollywood’s youngest and brightest stars, Noah Cyrus, Emily Grace Reaves and BooBoo Stewart, attended the event to show their support for children in need in their community.

Guests enjoyed a delicious dinner prepared by the Beverly Hilton’s executive chef Suki Sugiura while they watched the Academy Awards in style. Thunderous applause and cheering was heard around the ballroom as Sandra Bullock and Mo’Nique won their best actress and best supporting actress Oscars for their respective roles in “The Blind Side” and “Precious.” Throughout the night, partygoers bid on one-of-a-kind music, film and sports memorabilia from Grandstand Sports in the silent auction, with the proceeds supporting the work of CUN.

Former foster child Shani Annie Evans spoke of how CUN helped transform her life and then gave a beautiful musical performance with her band. Emmy-award winning journalist and Fox 11 News anchor Christine Devine presented the Mentor of the Year award to David Dobryden and the Mentee of the Year award to De'Vonte Fields, who shared his emotional story of how his mentor, David, is like a father figure to him and how his life is better because of the special bond and friendship that they share.

CUN founder Daphna Ziman presented the Angel Award to Randy and Rebbie Jackson on behalf of their brother Michael Jackson’s humanitarian work for children. Randy Jackson said children need love and role models and urged guests to get involved in their community and make a difference. Musical act the Memphis Rascals performed a two-song set and celebrity guests were invited to the CandyLand themed gifting suite created by Anita Thompson of Bellafortuna Entertainment and Carrie Zack of Carrie Zack Events. They were treated to fabulous gifts from Hot Rock, Aussie Boots Australia, Shakers Vodka, the Liquor Luggage, Trina Turk, Prevent the Pain, Bullets 4 Peace, Lucy De Castenou, Skova, Le Bra Lingerie, Bing and the Health Goddess Holly Hughes.

Platinum recording artist and “American Idol” finalist Elliott Yamin, who returned home safely from Chile on Friday, performed his hits “Let Love Be”, “Know Better” and “Wait for You.” Yamin is an active supporter of nonprofits around the world and was so inspired by the work of CUN that during the live auction co-hosted by Howie Schwartz of Grandstand Sports and Amy Balsam of In 2 It Media, he returned to the stage to donate a private concert to the highest bidder. The crowd went wild for this amazing opportunity and with two bidders vying for the prize, Yamin decided to offer two private concerts to help raise double the money for CUN. Daphna Ziman plans on having Yamin entertain at an event for the foster children of CUN this summer, and the other winning bidder, TV One Access co-host and philanthropist Quddus Philippe, produce a fundraiser for foster children featuring a special performance by Yamin. Other special celebrity live auction donors included Rick and Kevin Dees, Philippe, Garayua and Levine.

One of the highlights of the night was the incredibly soulful and genuine performance by new musical artist Matt Morris, who flew in from Denver with his band. The first artist signed to Justin Timberlake’s Tennman Records, Morris performed songs from his debut album, “When Everything Breaks Open.”

Children Uniting Nations (childrenunitingnations.org) has the largest and most far-reaching mentoring program for Los Angeles foster children. CUN has made tremendous strides by encouraging legislation to improve foster care and adoption laws; introducing legislation to forgive student loans in exchange for mentoring, and expanding their mentoring training. The CUN mentoring program is proving to bring down teen drug use and pregnancy in foster children, to improve self-esteem and to significantly increase the number of foster children who complete high school and college.

The IPPA is a global media company and community with a multitude of platforms from online to television that promotes, organizes and supports events and products for players and poker enthusiasts worldwide.

In December, the IPPA, in partnership with SBM of Monte Carlo, will produce a tournament that exceeds all expectations and redefines the meaning of a high-roller event. This is the player’s championship, the pièce de résistance. With the largest buy-in by a huge margin — $250,000 — and a limited field of 48 players, this event will showcase most of the name players and create the foundation for exciting and intriguing televised poker. Anyone and everyone can qualify for as little as $1,000 at selected venues and have an opportunity to win the $5 million first-place prize by beating only 12 players. The $12 million No Limit Hold-em Shootout sets the tone for those with a taste for ultrahigh stakes and fierce competition. Against the backdrop of glamorous Monte Carlo, the setting is a perfect fit for this December 2010 event.

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