February 24, 2010

Contact: Paul McGinley
(202) 244-7900 ext. 15

21st Annual Casino Night Benefiting the National Kidney
Foundation Raises Funds and Awareness

Former Redskins Player & Louisiana Congressman Honorary Chairs

Washington, DC – "Let the good times roll" was the call to action at the 21st Annual Casino Night benefitting the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area on February 20, 2010 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Through corporate sponsorships, ticket sales, gaming and a silent auction, the event raised nearly $100,000 to support medical research, patient and community services, professional education, and organ donation awareness in the DC region.

Heading up the fundraising effort was event chair Michael Ruggerio from Astellas, and host committee co-chairs Maureen Gleason Bryant and Anne Barnes. Honorary Chairs for Casino Night were Congressman Charlie Melancon (D-LA) and his wife Peachy and former Redskins player LaVar Arrington and his wife Trishia. The emcee for the evening was Jon Ballard, morning jock from BIG 100.3 FM. Other special guests included DC Council Member Yvette Alexander and WUSA Channel 9 Anchor Anita Brikman.

In addressing the crowd of 500 supporters, honorary chair LaVar Arrington said, "Kidney disease is an epidemic affecting our hometown. We need to get the word out that kidney disease is treatable if detected in its early stages. Tell others you know that if they are at risk, they need to get tested."

At the event, attendees enjoyed casino-style gaming, a Texas Hold Em tournament, Nintendo Wii Golf and Guitar Hero stations, spirit tastings, and music by the Junkyard Saints. A festive Mardi Gras theme added to the frivolity throughout the gallery.

Division President & Government Relations Director of the National Kidney Foundation, Preston A. Englert, Jr., CAE said, "We are grateful to all of those who came out to support us at Casino Night. The Washington, DC area has the highest prevalence of kidney disease in the nation with events like Casino Night help us raise funds to serve those most in need in our community."

Event sponsors included Astellas Pharma U.S., Cornell Technical Services, Boehringer Ingelheim, D.C. Lottery, Dr. Craig Dufresne, E*Trade, Peck Madigan Jones & Stewart, The Ronald D. Paul Companies and BIG 100.3 FM.

The mission of the National Kidney Foundation is to prevent kidney and urinary tract diseases, improve the health and well being of individuals and families affected by these diseases, and increase the availability of all organs for transplantation.