Poker champion Annie Duke is going all in for Bridges Academy, the Studio City school serving gifted and highly-gifted students who also have learning differences.
Duke is hosting the “All In For Charity” Poker Tournament April 16 at the Beverly Garland Hotel in North Hollywood. All proceeds will fund research, training, financial aid and scholarship opportunities for these “twice-exceptional” (2e) students.
Philanthropy is nothing new for Annie Duke. She has used her renowned poker skills and numerous contacts in the professional poker world and beyond to raise money for Ante Up For Africa, Enough Project, Head To Hollywood, Not On Our Watch, Women’s Sports Foundation, Refugees International, After School All Stars, 1736 Family Crisis Center and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others. She also sits on the board of directors of Decision Education Foundation, an organization created in 2001 by educators, decision scientists and management consultants with a passion for education and a commitment to bringing decision education to today’s youth.
Annie is a World Series of Poker Bracelet Winner, National Heads Up Poker Champion and Teacher at the WSOP Poker Academy as well as a published author. She has appeared on television programs including The Colbert Report, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Deal or No Deal and Celebrity Apprentice.
This is an exciting time for Bridges Academy. The school, grades 5-12, has purchased the Studio City campus it has been sharing since 2005. The campus was built in the late 1940s as Our Lady of Corvallis Catholic Girls School and was purchased in 1980 by Osaka Sangyo University of Japan. Bridges began renting space when it outgrew its previous facility in Sherman Oaks. The property is on 3.5 acres and includes a two-story classroom building, smaller two-story classroom/office building, gym-cafeteria complex, 120-bed dormitory, full-service kitchen, grounds and ample parking. Not only will the campus become Bridges Academy’s permanent home, but it will also serve as an institute for 2e research, training, conferences, seminars, workshops and a resource center for parents and professionals, including summer programs. Proceeds from Annie’s event will also support the institute.
Bridges is co-hosting the annual (and first international) conference of the Association for Educating Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) in Hawaii later this month. Educators, professionals and parents from the mainland, Hawaii, Australia and Japan will be in attendance. Bridges also created and spearheads JamFest, a music festival involving several area high school musicians, the proceeds of which go to MusiCares, the philanthropic arm of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences — the Grammys. The 2011 fifth annual event took place March 6 at the Roxy in Hollywood.