First Ameristar National Charity Golf Classic Raises $777,000

Benefits Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ — The inaugural Ameristar National Charity Golf Classic, hosted by Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City and held Oct. 11 at the top-ranked Tiffany Greens Golf Club, raised $777,000 for The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. The Buoniconti Fund is the fundraising arm of The Miami Project, the world’s largest and most comprehensive research facility dedicated to finding a cure for paralysis.

The golf tournament was presented by Ameristar Casinos and the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, and was sponsored by key Ameristar vendors and business associates from across the country. Ameristar and the Foundation absorbed all administrative costs for the tournament, so that all of the proceeds were donated directly to the Buoniconti Fund. Ameristar created the annual tournament to provide its key vendors and business associates with an opportunity to make a significant contribution toward spinal cord injury research.

“Over the years, we have been fortunate to have many friends stand up for those who can’t. We appreciate the tremendous support and generosity of Ameristar Casinos and Craig H. Neilsen,” said Marc Buoniconti. “The Buoniconti Fund is delighted to be the beneficiary of this inaugural tournament.”

The proceeds from the Golf Classic will be directed toward two promising projects which offer great hope for over 250,000 people in this country living with spinal cord injury. One project focuses on the next stage of breakthrough research where paralyzed animals regained 70% of their normal walking function by using a combination strategy. This is a critical step to obtain FDA approval to move this project into a human clinical trial. In addition, the funds raised at the event will also be used to support a project to increase muscle mass and improve cardiovascular function for those living with a chronic spinal cord injury. This research is critical to fight heart disease as well as prepare these individuals for potential reparative strategies.

“On behalf of all of the tournament sponsors, I am very pleased to make this donation to the Buoniconti Fund and the cutting-edge research it supports at The Miami Project,” said Craig H. Neilsen, Ameristar Chairman and CEO. “Their work is showing very promising results in finding a cure for paralysis and in improving the quality of life for those living with a spinal cord injury.”

The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis

Established by the Buoniconti family in 1992, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis is a non-profit organization committed to finding a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury and to seeing millions worldwide walk again. The Buoniconti Fund serves as the national fundraising arm of The Miami Project. It is designed to complement the scientific accomplishments of The Miami Project by generating funds and high levels of awareness. The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, at the University of Miami School of Medicine, is the world’s largest, most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center dedicated to finding more effective treatments for, and ultimately, a cure for paralysis. For more information, or to make a contribution, please call 1 800 STAND UP or visit

The Ameristar Cares Corporate Giving Program

Ameristar Casinos has a long-standing history of commitment to the communities in which we live and work. Our Ameristar Cares charitable giving program encompasses direct financial donations, workplace giving and Team Member volunteerism. In 2004, the Company gave a total of nearly $8 million to non-profit organizations, which included $5 million to local and state social service programs. In addition, during 2004 the Company made donations of nearly $1.2 million to more than 1,000 charities in our communities through Ameristar Cares. Our focus is on education, with an emphasis on adult literacy; social service agencies, with a special concentration on assisting seniors; health-related nonprofits to assist the sick; career and economic development; and research and support for responsible gaming. Through the Ameristar Cares Workplace Giving Campaign, Team Member donations are matched dollar-for-dollar by the Company, with an additional match for rehabilitation facility partners by The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Last year, the campaign raised $1,553,000 for four charity partners in each property’s community as well as for Team Member emergency relief funds. Ameristar and the Foundation also recently donated $250,000 to the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Employee Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund.

About Ameristar

Ameristar Casinos, Inc. is a leading Las Vegas-based gaming and entertainment company known for its premier properties characterized by innovative architecture, state-of-the-art casino floors and superior dining, lodging and entertainment offerings. Ameristar’s focus on the total entertainment experience and the highest quality guest service has earned it a leading market share position in each of the markets in which it operates. Founded in 1954 in Jackpot, Nevada, Ameristar has been a public company since November 1993. The company has a portfolio of seven casinos in six markets: Ameristar St. Charles (greater St. Louis); Ameristar Kansas City; Ameristar Council Bluffs (Omaha, Nebraska and southwestern Iowa ); Ameristar Vicksburg (Jackson, Mississippi and Monroe, Louisiana ); Mountain High in Black Hawk, Colorado (Denver metropolitan area); and Cactus Petes and the Horseshu in Jackpot, Nevada (Idaho and the Pacific Northwest ).

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