Card-stops on scenic waterways and poker-hand-playing during the evening that follows are key elements of the traditional powerboat poker-run format, but they’re not even close to enough to carry a marquee event such as the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run, which descends on Clayton, N.Y., this weekend. The organizers have known this since the run, which benefits Make-A-Wish of Central New York and River Hospital Wellness Program, began in 2017.
Some 90 participants have signed up for Friday’s Make-A-Wish rides on the St. Lawrence River. Photos from the 2019 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.
The extracurriculars start tonight with a kick-off party and exhibit from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Riverside Drive in downtown Clayton. An assortment of high-performance powerboats will be on display from the likes of DCB Performance Boats, MTI, Mystic Powerboats, Nor-Tech and other builders. For the first time in the event’s relatively short history, the Mercury Racing Mobile Marketing Vehicle will be in the mix.
Among the boats showcased will be a color-matched DCB M37R catamaran and a Nor-Tech 390 Sport center console. Event organizing committee members Ken and Renee Lalonde took delivery of both beauties last year.
“How often do you get the chance to display a couple of boats like these?” said Lalonde. “I wouldn’t miss it. I’m excited about it.”
Following the street celebration, musician Travis Rocco performs live from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Clayton Harbor Hotel, the event’s host venue.
The festivities start tonight with a kick-off party and powerboat display in downtown Clayton.
The following morning, Lalonde, MTI’s Randy and Taylor Scism and returning 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run participant Kelly O’Hara of Upstate New York will give rides to Make-A-Wish children and their families. Lalonde will use his 39-foot Nor-Tech and Scism is bringing an MTI V-50, while O’Hara will provide rides in his 36-foot catamaran.
“We have 90 people signed up for boat rides,” said Lalonde. “It’s going to be a great day.”
But it’s one that won’t end quietly. Starting Friday at 8:30 p.m., O’Hara will lead the participants in a battle for powerboat audio supremacy during the “Stereo Wars And Light Show” competition at the Clayton Harbor Marina docks.
And of course, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. there will be live music, this time courtesy of a band called Off The Reservation, at the Clayton Harbor Hotel.
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