The 5th Annual LAHU-USA Poker Event

 The 5th Annual LAHU-USA Poker Event

Over 3 million children are orphaned or living at risk right now in Uganda. LAHU-USA is committed to facilitating empowering, sustainable change in both urban and rural Uganda. LAHU sponsors animal husbandry, mushroom, bricklaying and horticultural projects, as well as guardian, education, and health and nutrition programs. LAHU-USA is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, based in New York City.

All profits from the 5th Annual LAHU-USA Poker Night event on Oct. 24, 2019 at Kellogg’s by Union Square provides healthy lunches for LAHU-USA’s “fostered” school in Mwererwe (Gombe District, near Kampala). LAHU lunches, prepared by a local chef/granny, provide these children with the nutrition they desperately need. As a result, their concentration and ability to learn has significantly improved.

The lunch program has now expanded to involve the Mwererwe Community Farm project. The farming project was established to increase the effectiveness of the existing lunch program for long-term sustainability. They are now beginning to grow crops that go directly into the lunch preparation, allowing more children to be fed.

We enjoyed delicious Ugandan food that was sponsored by Safari Cuisine. Cocktails were sponsored by Hennessy, like the Hennessy Berry and a Downtown Manhattan. 

The funds raised helps the organization to put an irrigation system into the community farm they started earlier this year so crops can continue to grow through the dry season. Yield from the harvests have been going to the nearby school the organization works with to feed the kids as their incentive to come (since their families usually only eat one meal per day). Together, they are improving the statistic that only 25 percent of Ugandan children make it past the fifth grade.

In attendance were professional poker players Maria Konnikova and Andy Frankenberger. Exciting prizes were given out to the top 10 players who made it to the final table.

Andy Frankenberger is a professional poker player and former equity derivatives trader from New York City. In his first year as a professional poker player, Frankenberger was named World Poker Tour (WPT) Season IX Player of the Year. Frankenberger’s first title as a professional came when he bested a field of 350 players to win the 2010 Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza III for $162,110. Frankenberger collected $750,000 for winning the WPT Season 9 Legends of Poker event in 2010, and followed that up with another WPT final table at the Festa al Lago event later that year for $161,200.

Maria Konnikova is a Russian American writer and psychologist. Her first book, “Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes,” was published by Viking Press Penguin Group in January 2013, was a New York Times bestseller, and was translated into 17 languages. Konnikova’s second book, “The Confidence Game,” published by Viking Press Penguin Group, made the New York Times best seller list for February 2016 in the crime and punishment category, and the Canadian Best Sellers List for non fiction for the weeks ending 26 January and 2 February. She became interested in poker after reading John von Neumann’s work on game theory.

Maria has taken up professional poker playing full-time, and is an Ambassador of Poker League of Nations, the world’s largest women’s poker organization. The Poker Stars tournament 2017 in Monte Carlo was her first major tournament. The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure No-Limit Hold’em Championship, where she placed 42nd of 582 players, was a personal turning point for her.

Harriet Zaffoni is the Founder and President of Lend A Hand Uganda-USA (LAHU-USA). After working side by side with members of LAHU in Uganda, Harriet recognized an urgent need for better funding so more children could benefit. When she returned to her home in New York, she founded LAHU-USA, a sister organization that works closely with its Ugandan counterpart.

Her Harkiss Designs is an emerging fashion accessory, footwear, and home decor line based in New York. Harkiss Shares LAHU-USA’s mission of empowerment, and seeks to open up international markets to skilled artisans in East Africa while providing unique, fashion-forward, natural pieces to customers around the world. Her designs are a Fair Trade Federation member, and a percentage of each and every sale goes to LAHU-USA.

Green Tree Textiles partners with non-profits and charities at home and overseas, and have partnered with LAHU-USA to bring needed clothing to rural Uganda. They have distributed gently used clothes to children in Namasuba and Gangu.

Another partner, Compassion for African Villages is dedicated to developing sustainable equitable education, which aligns perfectly with the mission of LAHU-USA.

The Stylista Group partners with LAHU-USA to create digital buzz about the organization and its programs as well as to drive attendance to their fundraising events.

Luanda Lozano, owner of Lozano Design BCN- New York handles almost everything concerning graphic design for LAHU-USA. Lozano Design donates time, expertise, and amazing final products for each and every LAHU-USA event and fundraiser.

Printech prints all of LAHU-USA’s graphics- signs, posters, brochures, and more.

Peter Dressel also graciously donates time, expertise, and professional photographs to LAHU- USA.

More about the organization can be found at

Mitchell Acks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *