LAS VEGAS, NV. On Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 12 noon, Hulk Hogan will be honored by National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr. in conjunction with the Global Gaming Expo 2008 in Las Vegas, NV. He will receive the “Humanitarian Award” for his work on behalf of the “Dreamseekers” Foundation.
Working with the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation at the National Indian Gaming Association, Hulk and Dreamseekers have committed to building the non-profit organization in partnership with Indian Country to provide needed assistance to Native America youth and their families.
Hulk Hogan, one of the most successful entertainment personalities and Executive Producer/host of the “Celebrity Championship Wrestling” series on CMT, will participate in the foundation’s activities by providing a familiar public face and forwarding the organization’s goal: providing greater opportunities for youth in Indian Country. Hulk Hogan has made it a priority to start this program in areas of Indian Country with the most need.
Once the project is implemented, the Dreamseekers Foundation hopes to provide a significant amount per annum to tribal nations that face adversities such as poverty, violence and lack of various resources. “We’re specifically focusing on efforts to improve healthcare and education for Native youth and their families around the country, as well as give them access to as many other critical opportunities as possible,” said Ernie Stevens Jr., co-founder of the foundation.
The Hulkamania Experience TM, a multilevel progressive video-slot series based on the adventures of the iconic superstar, is expected to debut at the 2008 Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas and roll out nationally during the next several months. As a part of the foundation’s fundraising initiative, a portion of the proceeds from The Hulkamania Experience tm will go towards the various health and education initiatives yet to be determined by the foundation.
The game, developed in conjunction with Rainmaker Gaming Technology and ID Interactive, LLC, represents a fundamentally new approach towards community involvement in Indian Country. Hulk’s efforts alongside that of the National Indian Gaming Association are a first of their kind, and it all spawned from an initial conversation between Ernie Stevens, Jr. and Hogan. “Hulk simply asked what he could do to help Indian Country, and we both agreed that it all starts with our children,” Stevens said.
“American Indian children are more likely to live in poverty than any other racial or ethnic group in this country“, Hogan noted, citing recent U.S. Census Bureau data. “It’s time to change that, and I’m proud to be associated with that effort,” said Hulk Hogan.
"This is an exciting opportunity to use the Hulk Hogan brand in a fulfilling way that makes a difference in people’s lives at the local level,” says Eric Bischoff of Bischoff Hervey Entertainment, Hogan’s partners in the project.
Last year Hogan was a recipient of a very high honor on behalf of the tribal leaders and the traditional community of South Dakota for his help in Indian Country while attending the Lakota Nation Invitational in Rapid City, SD. It was one of very few times in history that someone from outside the community has received such a prestigious honor. Hulk continues to feel the energy of that ceremony that took place ten months ago and looks forward to doing so much more.
* * *
KEY DATA / NEWS HOOKS:
* Nearly a third of all American Indian and Alaska Native children live in poverty
* 32.8 percent of Native American children in single-parent homes live below the poverty level. This is the highest rate among minorities, and more than twice the rate for White children in similar homes.
* SOURCE: "Children and the Households They Live In," a special report released by the Census Bureau.
About HULK HOGAN
Known most recently as the host of NBC’s top-rated “American Gladiator”, and host and Executive Producer of CMT’s series, “Celebrity Wrestling”, Hulk Hogan is one of the best-recognized celebrities in the United States.
A twelve- time world wrestling champion, including six WCW World Heavyweight belts, six WWE Championships, and a World Tag Team championship belt, Hulk Hogan is arguably the greatest wrestler in sports entertainment history. Rarely has an athlete held so many professional titles to his name in such a vast career.
Hulk Hogan is also well known among young fans for his four "demandments": which include training, saying prayers, eating vitamins, and believing in one self. As a result, he is one of the most-requested celebrities for the Make-a-Wish Foundation children’s charity.
About ERIC BISCHOFF
Eric Bischoff began his TV career in syndication and sales for an organization in Minneapolis known as the AWA in August of 1987. His transition from an obscure “office” position to an on-camera host for the company’s daily program on ESPN and in syndication was an event that truly defined the phrase “right time…right place”.
Being in the right place at the right time isn’t always simply coincidence. Indeed, in many respects it’s really all about passion, instinct, commitment, and risk. Bischoff’s move from the AWA to Turner Broadcasting in 1991 and his subsequent path that began as on camera talent at Turner Broadcasting culminated in 1999 when he was named President of Turner/Time Warner’s WCW division.
During this period he had the opportunity to take a fledgling division of Turner Broadcasting that happened to be a personal favorite of Ted Turner, from a money losing-content producing lost leader (from a corporate point of view) to a $300+ million dollar leader in the industry that had ABC Television up at night wondering how to shore up the male audience that was making “Monday Nitro on TNT” their preferred destination during the NFL season.
Today, Bischoff and Jason Hervey own their own production company (BISCHOFF-HERVEY ENTERTAINMENT), developing television content for NBC, VH1, CMT, E! and many other outlets as well as developing licensing opportunities for entertainment brands..
About ERNIE STEVENS, JR.
Stevens is the Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association, representing 184 tribes in gaming, based in Washington, D.C. Stevens is a former councilman for the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, as well as former 1st Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians. He is currently serving his fourth consecutive term as chairman for the association.
About the NATIONAL INDIAN GAMING ASSOCIATION (NIGA)
NIGA is a non-profit trade association comprised of 184 American Indian Nations and other non-voting associate members. The mission of NIGA is to advance the lives of Indian people; economically, socially, and politically. NIGA operates as a clearinghouse and educational, legislative and public policy resource for tribes, policy makers, and the public on Indian gaming issues and tribal community development. For more information, visit www.indiangaming.org.
About ID Interactive
ID Interactive LLC, producer of the Hulkamania multilevel progressive, is an independent game developer, designer and distributor with a domestic US focus on Indian Country and a history of commitment to charitable community programs. ID distributes games in the US, Western and Eastern Europe, Mexico, Central and South America and Asia. CEO Jon Goldstein is a founding partner of the Dreamseekers Foundation.
About Dreamseekers and the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation
Dreamseekers and the Spirit of Sovereignty Foundation recognize students that are exceptionally talented and demonstrate skills that positively represent the Native American community. Recipients are qualified based on criteria such as, but not limited to: Course study, GPA, and Enrollment. The selection process for scholarship is competitive, and the award is distinct and prestigious.
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