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					Published on the front page of the Wilmington Town Crier Newspaper,
Wilmington, Massachusetts December 6, 2006 Edition


Holdem for charity
Focaccia’s helps out The Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation
By STEPHEN BJORK
  WILMINGTON - Las
                                                                      Shuffle-up and deal!
Vegas and Hollywood paid
a visit to Wilmington on
Monday evening for a
charitable Texas Holdem
tournament hosted by
Focaccia's Restaurant on
Lowell Street. The event
benefitted    The     Mark
Wahlberg             Youth
Foundation, a non-profit
organization created in
2001 by actor/singer Mark
Wahlberg for the purpose
of raising and distributing
funds to youth service and
enrichment programs.
  Mark Wahlberg grew up
in    the    projects    of
Dorchester and broke into
show business as singer
Marky Mark during the
early 1990's. He success-
fully parlayed his singing
career into a modeling gig
for Calvin Klein, and then
                               Focaccia's Restaurant packed them in on Monday night for a Texas Holdem Tournament to benefit the Mark
                               Wahlberg Youth Foundation. The Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for inner city youth through serv-
                               ice and enrichment programs. (l-r) Donnie Wahlberg, Robert DePesa (Focaccia owner), Jimmy Wahlberg, and
                               Peter DePesa (Focaccia owner)                                                          www.joebrownphotos.com
                              with Mark's older brother     nizable in his Sixth Sense     Jimmy is the perfect           responsibility,”     Jimmy
                              Jimmy during a golf tour-     role having dropped an         example of an inner city       said. “We couldn't do any
                              nament four years ago.        alarming 43 pounds for the     youth heading in the           of this without people like
                                “They do so much for        part.                          wrong direction, until pre-    Peter DePesa who are
                              inner city youth, and we        In addition to movies,       sented with the right          interested in helping their
                              thought this would be a       Donnie has done a number       opportunity.                   community. This will be
                              great way to help them        of projects for television,      “Jimmy used to hustle        just the first of many such
                              out,” DePesa said.            including a major role in      for a living, he used to       events in this area.”
                                The Foundation has thus     the multiple Emmy Award        hustle to survive,” Donnie       As the dealers got down
                              far raised and distributed    winning HBO mini-series        said. “Now he hustles for      to business, the players
                              $1 million for the benefit    “Band of Brothers.”            charity. Now he puts all of    adopted their game faces.
                              of inner city youth. Much       Donnie is no stranger to     that entrepreneurial ener-     Donnie, friendly and gre-
                              of the money has gone to      the poker table, though        gy in the right direction      garious before the game
                              youth service programs in     he's only been playing         and he's doing amazing         started, donned dark sun-
                              and around Boston, but        Texas Holdem for a year        things.”                       glasses and a stoic dispo-
Donnie Wahlberg (from         just this past November       or so. His game of choice        According to Jimmy, it's     sition to hide any possible
such films as Saw II, Saw     the Foundation provided a     for 20 years had been 7-       all a matter of responsibil-   “tells.” Peter, who had
III, The Sixth Sense, and     traditional       sit-down    card stud, having played       ity.                           been playing the consum-
others) was at Focaccia's     Thanksgiving dinner to        regularly with the likes of      “With all the incredible     mate host running back
for the Texas Holdem          more than 700 families liv-   Telly     Savalas,    Gabe     success that my brothers       and forth from every cor-
Tournament to benefit the     ing in the South Central      Kaplan, and James Woods.       were enjoying, the ques-       ner of the building all
youth foundation bearing      Los Angeles area.               “These days (at casinos)     tion was, 'All right, now      evening,      relaxed    his
his brother’s name.             The Foundation's name-      there are only about 5 stud    what are you going to do       demeanor and began his
 www.joebrownphotos.com       sake was not able to          games going, out of a          with all of this?'” said       boisterous affable “table
                              attend the Focaccia's         thousand holdem games,”        Jimmy.                         talk” with the competition
                              Tournament,      but    his   Donnie said.                     A portion of the proceeds    sitting     around     him.
into a critically acclaimed
                              brother Donnie Wahlberg         Donnie hosts a private       from the Focaccia's event      Jimmy's demeanor was
acting career. He's had
                              brought star power to the     game for friends at his Los    will    go    toward    the    somewhere in the middle,
starring roles in movies
                              event.                        Angeles      home     every    Foundation's upcoming          taking the game seriously,
such as Boogie Nights,
                                Donnie gained fame as a     Sunday - two tables with 20    Christmas Party, during        but ready at a moment's
The Big Hit, Three Kings,
                              member of the teen            guys ranging from million-     which 250 inner city kids      notice to shift back into
The Perfect Storm, Planet
                              singing group New Kids        aire restaurateurs to a guy    will visit Fenway Park.        the mode of Foundation
of the Apes (2001), Four
                              On The Block during the       who works for Fed Ex.            “Every kid is going to       administrator.
Brothers,       and     The
                              late 1980's.     Like his       “I tend to do a lot of the   walk out of there with a         A great time was had by
Departed, just to name a
                              younger brother Mark, he      promotion for Foundation       truckload of presents,”        all. Even the gentlemen
few.
                              has also moved into an        events in this area,           Jimmy said.                    that held the distinction of
  Focaccia's Restaurant is
                              acting career with promi-     because I prefer to be in        Jimmy will make sure,        being the first to be
not new to the concept of
                              nent roles in movies such     Boston whenever possi-         however, that much of the      knocked out was all
raising money for chari-
                              as    Ransom,      Southie,   ble,” said Donnie. “It may     money        raised      in    smiles.
ties.    Through similar
                              Dreamcatcher, Saw II, and     my name or Mark's name         Wilmington will stay in          “I wish my strategy was
poker tournaments held
                              Saw III. He delivered a       that is used to promote an     the immediate vicinity         a little different, and that
regularly, the restaurant
                              jaw dropping performance      event, but it's my brother     and will be used to assist     I'd practiced a little bit
has raised $10,000 for the
                              as a patient of Bruce         Jimmy who runs the             children in the area. The      more ahead of time, but it
Make A Wish Foundation.
                              Willis' character during      Foundation and does all        Foundation has distrib-        was fun and it was for a
  Peter DePesa, one of the
                              the opening sequence of       the work.”                     uted just under a half-mil-    good cause,” he said. “It
owners of Focaccia's, first
                              The       Sixth      Sense.     Jimmy Wahlberg is one        lion dollars this year         was a lot better than just
became aware of The
                              Ironically, though it may     of Donnie and Mark's           alone.                         sending in a check.”
Mark Wahlberg Youth
                              stand out as his most pow-    older brothers - they come       “This is not just about
Foundation when he hap-
                              erful performance to date,    from a family of 9 siblings.   having a movie star
pened to be teamed up
                              Donnie is nearly unrecog-     According to Donnie,           attached,      it's   about

				
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