Created with the goal of "Mending fractured lives caused by addiction," The Stu Ungar Foundation was established by the late poker great's ex-wife, Madeline, and his daughter, Stefanie, in 2005. The non-profit organization is the first charity to be founded in the name of a poker player, and recently announced its official launch via MLP, the Major League Poker association, which is responsible for providing management services to the organization.
Ungar, a "one of a kind" poker player famous not only for his remarkable ability and legendary prowess at the poker and bridge tables, but also because of his insatiable hunger for drugs and alcohol, suffered an untimely death at the hands of his deadly addictions in Las Vegas not long ago.
"We are confident the Foundation will accomplish something Stu was unable to do in his lifetime – help others avoid making the same mistakes he made," said Madeline and Stefanie Ungar. "Thankfully, we can draw upon Stu’s great success and legacy as a champion to help create awareness for the first ever charity named after a poker player."
In light of Stu's tragic demise, the mission of The Stu Ungar Foundation is "to deliver ongoing awareness of the problems associated with addictive behavior including gambling, drugs, and suicide, and to supply much needed funds to qualified and recognized organizations that provide treatment."
In the long run, the organization is hoping to generate enough interest and support to open a treatment facility in Las Vegas.
MLP has enlisted the services of Joe Lake, the recently retired co-founder of the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN), and one of the most revered non-profit consultants in the United States, to assist in the overall fundraising capabilities of The Stu Ungar Foundation.
"We envision the CMN model being applied to the Stu Ungar Foundation's mission and operations," said Lake. "Rather than building new brick-and-mortar facilities, we see existing treatment facilities allying themselves with the Foundation."
One key fundraising activity MLP plans to organize is a series of charity poker tournaments hosted at major poker circuit events.