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Charity poker tourney will benefit Haiti

DULUTH -- It's a game of cards in which everyone will walk away winners.

Serious players, beginners and those who just want to support the effort are invited to try their hands at poker for a cause -- the upcoming Hearts to Haiti Charity Poker Tournament on Aug. 25 will benefit the 410 Bridge Haiti Earthquake Relief Effort.

The idea for Hearts for Haiti came from a similar event that Michelle Long, one of the tournament organizers and head of Michelle Long Communications, attended a couple months ago also benefiting a charitable organization.

"It was such a success and it really helped increase awareness for the issue," she said, "and it's just a fun way to support a good cause."

410 Bridge is a nonprofit organization mobilizing to meet the needs of people living in the earthquake-ravaged country. Volunteers with the organization travel to Haiti to train residents there for job opportunities and work alongside the residents to rebuild.

"I was just very impressed by their dedication and how they support the people of Haiti," Long said. "They're going down there and they are satisfying the immediate needs."

Joining Long in heading up the event are Jason Chandler with the Gwinnett Medical Center Foundation, Bob Smith with RJS Consulting, Bill Rosenberg, a certified financial planner, and Derek Schwerzler with Stephen Gould Corporation.

The tournament will begin at 7 p.m. Aug. 25 and will be held at the 1818 Club inside the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce building at 6500 Sugarloaf Parkway in Duluth. Participants should register at 6 p.m. and a beginner's class on playing poker will be held at 6:30. The event will include a cash bar.

Tournament play is $75 per participant and a variety of prizes are up for grabs, including tickets to Falcons, Hawks and Thrashers games.

"It will be well worth it," Long said of the event. "It will be one of the biggest poker tournaments in Gwinnett County."

For more information on the Hearts to Haiti Charity Poker Tournament, call Long at 770-335-4080 or e-mail her at michelle_long_1@yahoo.com.