Star Jones Breaks Celebrity Apprentice Fundraising Record to Benefit American Heart Association

Mar 07, 2011, 11:30 ET from American Heart Association

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Star Jones, AHA National Volunteer, Wins $170k during First Celebrity Apprentice Task

NEW YORK, March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During last night's season premiere of NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice, Star Jones raised a record-breaking $170,000 for the American Heart Association (AHA) as this season's first Project Manager. As the AHA's National Volunteer, Star is doing more than just raising funds; she's also raising awareness of heart disease – the No. 1 killer of Americans across all ethnicities.  Close to Star's heart is the fact that cardiovascular disease claims the life of nearly 100,000 African-Americans annually and almost half (49 percent) of all African-American women have some form of heart disease. Star's commitment to the AHA goes beyond this reality show competition – heart disease almost took her life.

"I decided to participate in The Celebrity Apprentice to bring national awareness to America's No. 1 killer, heart disease, which is killing more men and women every year than any other disease," said Jones. "After undergoing open-heart surgery and intense cardiac rehab a year ago this month, I want people everywhere to understand the importance of heart disease prevention. Any person can make changes in their lifestyle - even modest improvements to your health can make a big difference!"

Breaking The Celebrity Apprentice Fundraising Record

On last night's premiere episode, Donald Trump challenged 16 new celebrity contestants to run authentic New York City pizzerias to raise money for their respective charities. As Project Manager, Star Jones led the women's team to victory, using her celebrity power on the streets of Manhattan to break The Celebrity Apprentice fundraising record for an opening episode. Not only did Star and team raise $170,000 for the American Heart Association, they almost tripled the funds raised by the men's team, led by veteran Survivor, Richard Hatch.

Extending Fundraising at NYC Premiere Event

But Star's fundraising efforts were not over when the Apprentice cameras stopped rolling. Last night, at Opia Restaurant in New York City, the AHA hosted a premiere party for The Celebrity Apprentice and fundraising event in Star's honor to celebrate and extend her efforts for the cause. The event, sponsored by Graff, Tagliatella and Shawn Rabideau, raised another $170,000 benefiting the AHA, and matching Star's winnings from The Celebrity Apprentice. Notable donors  in attendance at last night's event included Mrs. Denzel Washington, Mrs. Mitch Modell and Mr. Dennis Basso.

Preventing Heart Disease

Just as winning a Celebrity Apprentice task is a group activity, preventing heart disease takes a team effort, as well. The AHA is comprised of millions of volunteers, just like Star, who help to fund research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat heart disease. As a non-profit, the AHA relies on donations to achieve its mission. Donated funds support health education and life-saving research to prevent and treat heart disease. Visit heart.org to make a donation today.

For more information about the American Heart Association, please visit heart.org.

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – America's No. 1 and No. 3 killers. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation's oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or join us, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or any of our offices around the country, or visit heart.org.

Consumer Inquiries:

The American Heart Association

1-800-AHA-USA1; or visit americanheart.org



SOURCE American Heart Association



RELATED LINKS

http://www.americanheart.org