This past Sunday, Daniel Negreanu posted a tweet on his Twitter account that linked to his donation page on the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital fundraising website. Negreanu then followed up this announcement with a video blog posting explaining his involvement with the fundraising effort.
In November of last year, Negreanu began a course with the ChoiceCenter Leadership University in Las Vegas, Nevada on Personal Development & Leadership which included such topics as emotional intelligence, improved productivity, confidence building, and creative thinking strategies. ChoiceCenter provides workshops and courses to assist individuals with obtaining the skills needed to achieve their own personal goals. Part of the course involves participating in a program developed by ChoiceCenter called GiverGame. GiverGame is based on the premise that one person can make a difference. Participants of the course each pledged an amount of money they would commit to raise in support of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Initially, as part of the GiverGame project, Negreanu pledged $100,000. In his posted video, Negreanu explains the particulars of the project as well as explaining what he is personally willing to do to reach the $100,000.
“I am willing to match all donations up to $50,000 personally”, says Negreanu.
Negreanu then went one step further by offering an evening of food and fun at Negreanu’s newly renovated “Austin Powers” home, at the end of March, for four donors, at random, who are willing to donate $2,500 or more.
“Lot of fun stuff to do here…I’ve got golf simulator upstairs…I have what’s called an Arkeg…half beer keg, half video game console.”
By this Thursday, Negreanu had exceeded his goal by raising a total of over $158,000, including his own personal donation of $50,000. He has now set a new goal of $200,000 and it appears that between now and the end of the week, he may very well reach and possibly exceed this new goal. A number of donations have come from the poker community as well as from some well-known poker tournament players.
Negreanu also asked that donors send him an email letting him know what inspired the donors to donate and how they felt about donating. He also requested that his followers tweet and share his post and video through all popular social media websites to assist him in reaching the goal.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is described by Negreanu as being “top shelf” in terms of being a charitable organization, and they never turn an ill child away. St Jude was founded in 1962 by Hollywood entertainer Danny Thomas to ensure that “no child should die in the dawn of life”. Patients are never charged for his or her care as the hospital is funded entirely through private donations and through the fundraising efforts of the American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities.
With the final hours of Negreanu’s campaign ticking away, it will be interesting to see the final tally of funds raised by this ambassador of poker.