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American Poker Run Organization Holds First Meeting

With Nashville as the host city, the American Poker Run Organization, a new group formed primarily of single-event poker- and fun-run organizers with the goal of sharing their knowledge and working together to improve every aspect of the overall poker-run experience for their customers, held its first meeting last weekend.

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Poker- and fun-run organizers from around the country gathered last weekend in Nashville (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy/copyright Brian Radtke/Media One 7.

The members of the group, who spent six hours on Saturday and dinners on Friday and Saturday night getting to know one another and discussing everything from safety programs and event permitting with various regulatory agencies to insurance and marketing, did not finalize an organizational structure such as suggestions that included LLC and 501(c) 6 (social group). However, they did agree to “continue the ongoing conversation” in advance of meeting formally again in Nashville on October 17-18, 2019.

“The reach of this group should be enormous,” wrote Bobby Cantwell, one of four 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run organizers who attended the meeting, on the American Poker Run Organization’s Facebook page. “I think we just opened the door to something that is very much needed in the powerboating and poker run world. I for one am energized to be a small part of this organization.”

The list of committed, enthusiastic organizers who came to the Music City for the weekend reads like a “Who’s Who?” in the poker-run organizing community. Participants in the unprecedented event included Bob Alger of the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Michigan, Todd and Debbie Campbell of the Hartwell Lake Poker Run in South Carolina, Chad Collier of the Old Hickory Fun Run, Bar Craw and Raft Up in Tennessee, the aforementioned Cantwell, Nolan Ferris and Ken and Renee Lalonde of the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in New York, Jeff Eslick of the Center Hill Lake Poker Run in Tennessee, Casey Harrison of the Tickfaw 200 Poker Run in Louisiana, Justin Lucas of the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run in Kentucky, Shannon and Brian Radtke of the Four Horsemen Poker Run, Paul Robinson of the Texas Outlaw Challenge and John Woodruff, formerly of the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run, in Georgia.

In addition to those physically present at the meeting, Yvonne Aleman of the Jacksonville River Rally and Poker Run in Florida, Burl Griswold of the Lake Powell Challenge in Arizona, Casey Moore of the Texoma Throw Down Fun Run in Texas, Anthony Scioli of Elite Poker Runs LLC in New York, Matt Soper of the Traverse City OPA Invitational Poker Run in Michigan and several other organizers participated via Zoom online video conferencing.

In all, the organization currently has 41 members including Stu and Jackie Jones, who were traveling and could not attend, of the Florida Powerboat Club.

Editor’s Note: Look for an extended commentary on the American Poker Run Organization and its first meeting tomorrow on speedonthewater.com.

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