At this moment, 100 high-performance powerboat owners have registered for the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in Clayton, N.Y. Also at this moment, a combination of 50-plus sponsors with donations from $1,250 to $12,500 have signed up to make the July 14-16 event happen.
As it has since the first 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in 2017, Aqua-Mania is returning as a presenting sponsor. Photos by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.
That roughly translates to a 1:2 sponsor-to-registered boat ratio—the kind of sponsor-to-boat ratio any organizer would be delighted to have. Such is the appeal of the event on the St. Lawrence River between the United States and Canada, which was canceled in 2020 and 2021 as a result of pandemic-restrictions and border-crossing issues.
That ratio could change slightly, of course, and likely will as 20 spots for participants are still open. But no one involved will mind if that happens.
Though the majority of sponsors are local businesses, high-performance marine industry companies will enjoy a heavy presence. Among the returning backers on the marine industry side is MTI of Wentzville, Mo.
Company principal Randy Scism and his wife, Cherell, “loved” the event in 2018 and displayed wild generosity at the Saturday night auction. This time around, Scism will be joined by his daughter, Taylor, who works as the company’s client relations manager.
“The scenery and boating were awesome,” he said. “And they have a great auction supporting great charities.”
For returning sponsor Mystic Powerboats of DeLand, Fla., this year’s 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run will be a couples trip of sorts. Company owner/founder John Cosker and national sales manager Greg Weber tackled the event in a Mystic M4200 center console in 2019. This time around, they’ll have company.
“Robin and I are flying up and going to meet Greg and Sherry in Syracuse and we’re really looking forward to it,” Cosker said. “The boating is beautiful and we actually have a market up there. We have three 38s and a couple of 42s in the Upstate New York area.”
A lot closer to home in Alexandria Bay, N.Y., on the marine industry side is presenting sponsor Aqua-Mania/G3 (Kimco Steel also is a presenting sponsor), a full-service powerboat dealership serving the 1,000 Islands and entire Upstate New York area. Aqua-Mania has backed the event since its inception.
Poker-run event setups don’t get any better than that of the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run.
A little farther from from home will be first-time Diamond-level sponsor Mercury Racing of Fond du Lac, Wis. As previously reported on speedonthewater.com, the company is bringing its Tour Truck and other product displays and more to the event, which begins with a Thursday evening street party and exhibit in downtown Clayton.
And a lot farther from home—as in El Cajon, Calif.—will be new backer DCB Performance Boats. The company’s Tony Chiaramonte is coming to the event for the first time. Members of the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run organizing committee, Ken LaLonde and his wife, Renee, took delivery last year of a DCB M37R Widebody catamaran, as well as a color-matched 390 Sport center console from Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats of Fort Myers, Fla. (Nor-Tech is yet another marine industry sponsor of the 2022 event as is Double R Performance, the company’s dealer in Canada.)
“I’m really looking forward to it—I’ve never been before and I hear it’s insanely beautiful,” Chiaramonte said. “Once I get there, we’ll decide if I’m going to run Ken’s cat or his center console, but either way it will be nice to be with people who know the waterway.”
Given the current roster of high-performance marine industry backers, the Thursday night street exhibit in Clayton should be spectacular.
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