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Smart Bet Charities Surpasses $625,000 in Donations Raised to Support the Education and Awareness of Young, Aspiring Technology Entrepreneurs in Chicago

Sixth Annual Tournament Brought Record Setting Participation From Chicago's Tech Community to Support Six Local Charities That Mentor and Train Urban Youth (October 24, 2011)

CHICAGO, IL -- (Marketwire) -- 10/24/11 -- The Smart Bet Charitable Foundation, a 501c3 charity, is pleased to announce that this year's Smart Bet Charity Poker Tournament exceeded all prior records in participation and money raised for six local charities. Since 2006, Smart Bet has brought together Chicago's entrepreneurial community for a charity tournament that has raised more than $625,000 on behalf of local organizations committed to educating and training urban youth towards careers in technology and entrepreneurship. "This annual tournament was created by Chicago entrepreneurs as a way for the community to support and nurture future Chicago entrepreneurs," said Brian Crummy, Chairman of this year's SmartBet tournament, and CEO of "It's great to see more than 400 members of our community gather for one night of fun that also makes a real difference for kids."

"The organizations we support are doing a great job of preparing kids for bright futures, and exposing them to mentors and training that they likely would never otherwise have received," says Terry Howerton, Chairman of the Illinois Technology Association, one of the Smart Bet Board members and key organizers.

This year's lead sponsors include K&L Gates, OCA Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank, Kirkland & Ellis and Comptia. "SmartBet Charities' success is a direct result of the philanthropic effort of driven entrepreneurs and corporate sponsors that share a passion to contribute to the broader goal of education and empowerment as a key to enrichment and economic advancement," commented Jim Dugan, CEO of OCA Ventures & SmartBet Co-Founder and Board member, who once again led the Smart Bet organizers in raising funds for the charities.

Charitable organizations benefiting from the fundraising include the Chicago Tech Academy (, a charter high school with a curriculum infused with entrepreneurship and information technology skills and Future Founders (, a mentoring program that culminates in a citywide business play competition for high school students. In total, five charities will receive portions of the net proceeds from the donations raised at the SmartBet 2011 Charity tournament, and also include i.c. Stars, US Empowered, and Chicago Communities in Schools.

About Smart Bet
The Smart Bet Charitable Foundation ( was founded in 2006 by a group of dedicated entrepreneurs who have been getting together regularly since 2004 to network and to discuss the entrepreneurial climate in the city of Chicago. The mission of Smart Bet is to support urban youth orientated education in technology and entrepreneurship.

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Dorothy Radke
Illinois Technology Association

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Related Keywords: Illinois Technology Association, Technology Events, Technology Networking, software association, Education, Networking, Marketwire, , IT (Information Technology), Networking, Computer Science, Business,

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