The perennially fitting finale of any given high-performance powerboating season, the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout—set for August 24-25—will celebrate its 31st anniversary this year. And Bio-Kleen, a cleaning solutions product company with an array of popular offerings for powerboat enthusiasts, will celebrate its 30th year as a backer of the Central Missouri happening.
A full week of activities including the Bob Morgan Memorial Shootout Hall of Fame induction celebration and banquet, the Shootout On The Strip street festival and exhibit sponsored by Waves and Wheels and the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Poker Run have grown up around the weekend’s top-speed contests. And Bio-Kleen supports all of them.
“We have sponsored the poker run for many, many years, and of course we are one of the sponsors of the Shootout itself,” said Tim Kowalski, who founded the well-known Kalamazoo, Mich.-based cleaning solutions company in 1987. “We will be displaying in the Shootout On The Strip street party and, as always, participate in Thursday’s boat rides for the Make-A-Wish program.”
Kowalski and his wife, Tracy, will use their 1993 Cigarette 35 Café Racer sportboat to provide rides for Make-A-Wish kids. Their vintage 35-footer currently is for sale and will be displayed during the weekend at Captain Ron’s Bar and Grill, the event’s official headquarters for the Shootout. Though they won’t run their boat in it, they will still sponsor the poker run again.
“We’ll save it from the wear and tear of the poker run this year,” he said. “Once we sell it, we’re looking at doing a center console, either a 32-foot Boston Whaler or a 34-foot Fountain and we’ll wrap it, rather than paint it the way we did with our Cigarette, with the Bio-Kleen graphics.
“We love the Cigarette, but it has a really small cockpit,” he added. “We’d like to be able to take more people for boat rides.”
The Kowalskis display their cleaning products at 25 events a year, which translates to 200 nights a year on the road in their motor-home, most often with their Cigarette in tow. (They used to hit 37 events a year, which translated to a dizzying 300 nights a year on the road.) But the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout is particularly special to them, which is why they have backed it for the past 29 years and are returning as a major sponsor this year.
“For one thing, I love the Lake of the Ozarks,” Kowalski said. “Second, I feel blessed to have a successful company and I believe you have to give back—and what a great program to give back to. We love being part of a program being run by good people for a good cause, and that’s been especially true since (leader Shootout organizer) Ron Duggan took it over. He has made all the difference in the world.”