The fight kicked off on Sunday February 17th, to "Save a Friends Life" at a roaring 20's party themed "Celebrity Poker Tournament," hosted by "Real Housewives of Miami," Joanna Krupa. Celebrities, friends and supporters, all gathered together to play poker and to raise money for a friend that is in need of a kidney transplant. Sponsored by Hollyscoop and Cellupedic, the event took place at the Next Door Lounge in Hollywood. In attendance were Derek Hough, Carl Weathers, Omar Benson Miller, Verne Troyer, Shanna Moekler, Alan Ritchson, Lilly Ghalichi, Poker Professionals Jamie Gold, Tiffany Michelle and more. Everyone joined together for a great cause in an afternoon filled with mixing, mingling and poker playing.
DJ Adrian Vera got the party started playing an open format of music and top 40's, keeping the energy alive and upbeat. There were delicious h'orderves, special designed cupcakes, and a fully stocked bar. Guests could also dress up and take pictures in a photobooth. To go along with the theme, the memorable Butterfield 8 from 1960's starring the iconic Liz Taylor played from projector. There was plenty going on to stay entertained.
When asked about her involvement, Joanna said "My friend Diana Madison from Hollyscoop and I are really close with this lady in her fifties, she's been sick for about 30 years and really at the end of, you know, basically her health and she does really need a kidney. So, we decided we have to take it into our own hands and try to raise money for her and help her, at least try and see if we can raise enough money for it and we decided to partner up with my friend Tracy who does a lot of Poker events to help us." They worked together to find a venue, sponsors, and bring everyone together for the cause. "The perfect goal is, were trying to raise $25,000, that would be our goal. You know, we'll see how it goes. This is our first charity event for her so obviously you know, we'll see how this goes and then if we have to do another one, we will. Were trying to do whatever we can to get her that kidney." She certainly had plenty of people who wanted to see that goal met. In support, Shah's of Sunset Lilly Ghalici stated "Joanna's a good friend of mine so I support anything that she does and she happens to support really great causes like this, so I'm happy to be a part of it. I don't personally know the person, but its about love and how I'm happy to do anything that I can- except play poker, I can't play poker. I would love to see more events like this, you know more people trying to reach out and help and it's really not that hard to get money together. When so many people get together and people don't realize even $10, if everybody would give $10, before you know it we'd have thousands and thousands of dollars."
It was a well structured, meaningful event. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and all had one common goal in mind, and that is to help save a life.