On November 20, 2008, the LRG  held its Fifth Annual Poker Tournament at the Midtown Loft on Fifth Avenue in New York City. It is always a remarkable evening and has become a muchlooked- forward-to event for LRG staff and supporters.

Its beginnings were simple. Lorie Cudzil and Lisa Roth Fleming ran a marathon in 2003 to raise money for the LRG in honor of their father, the late Bill Roth. Jerry, Lorie’s husband, helped raise a lot of money for their effort. In 2004, Lorie and Lisa had no plans to run another race but Jerry still wanted to raise money. He knew many colleagues in the financial world who donated to charity and thought that a poker tournament would be a fun way for them to contribute. The poker tournament has since become a yearly success.

This year was a little different. In the midst of an American financial crisis, most non-profits have been concerned about funding. The question of whether people would want to spend their hardearned money on charitable giving was a pressing one, one that would not be answered until the day of the tournament.

That night, the LRG greeted 150 guests, over 90 of whom were players who together
contributed over 63,000 dollars! Old friends and colleagues enjoyed a night of great food and serious poker in remembrance of a man who knew how to have a good time.

The Life Raft Group would like to congratulate first place winner, Joe Bonavita, who will receive a seat at the World Series of Poker Main Event in Las Vegas, Nevada (valued at $10,000). Taking home second and third place were Choudhary Yarlagadda and Dennis Lu, respectively, who each won dinner for four to famed New York City restaurants, Daniel and Nobu. Johnny Tyler won the night’s raffle for dinner for four at another famous New York restaurant, The Palm, donated by previous Poker Tournament winner, Nick Chiara.

We would like to thank Marzena from the Midtown Loft, Worldwide Events, Jerry Cudzil for his tireless dedication, and everyone who supported the event!