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Boyne Thunder And 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Runs Open Registration

Registration for two of July’s hottest events, the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Boyne City, Mich., and the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in Clayton, N.Y., is open. Both happenings are limited to 120 boats and—if history is a guide—will sell out in short order.

Despite that they happen on back-to-back weekends, Devin Wozencraft makes a habit of participating in the Boyne Thunder and 1,000 Islands Charity poker runs. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

The Boyne Thunder Poker Run is set for July 7-8 and the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run happens the following weekend, July 13-15.

Though not exactly around the corner from one another, the event locations are close enough for ambitious, road-tripping poker-runners to do both. That’s something Devin Wozencraft can speak to from experience. Not only has the high-performance marine insurance agent hauled his 30-footer Skater Powerboats catamaran to both runs in the same season several times, he’s planning to do it again this year.

“The vibe for both is awesome,” he said. “Plus, they both have wonderful street parties, and they’re always a great way to meet and greet and see great displays.” 

The 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run organizing committee, which includes Alexandra Buduson, Bobby Cantell, Renee and Ken Lalonde, Dave Montroy, Jeff Morgan and Courtney Rutherford are eager for participants to return. Last year’s event broke a two-year, pandemic-forced hiatus and came back to plenty of pent-up demand. Newcomers such as Jeff Johnston and Tony Chiaramonte vowed to return in 2023.

We are blessed with the most beautiful waters to boat and can’t wait to share it with all the participants of our event,” said Renee Lalonde. “All the while we will raise money for organizations taking care of some of the most vulnerable. We can’t think of a better way to spend a long weekend!!

Turning 20 years old this year, the Boyne Thunder Poker Run is a gem.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Boyne Thunder raised more than $250,000 in Sponsorship registration. Sponsor registration for the 1,000 Islands event is off to a strong start with Aqua-Mania in Alexander Bay, N.Y., reprising its presenting-sponsor role and 19 sponsor signs-ups in its first week, and will remain open until the event begins.

“Boyne Thunder 2023 is going to be a rocking good time,” said Ingrid Day, the run’s events coordinator. “We are so excited that so many have stepped up to sponsor this year and can’t wait for the next 65 participants who want to join us as we celebrate 20 years of supporting our charities.

“We’ll be sure to have the best Friday street show ever and there are several new things for those that join us ‘under the tent’ on Friday and Saturday,” she added, “You don’t want to miss this one.”

After a two-year break created by the pandemic, the 1,000 Islands Poker Run returned to rave reviews in 2022.

Among those “new” items will be an oversized collectible Boyne Thunder 20th Anniversary program produced by speedonthewater.com. Programs will be distributed free of charge Friday and Saturday night, as well as during the Boyne Thunder Welcome Party sponsored by American Custom Marine and Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats on Thursday evening.

Last but far from least, both of the nonprofits events primarily exist to serve children’s charities. Boyne Thunder raises money for Challenge Mountain and Camp Quality-Michigan, while the 1,000 Islands event supports Make-A-Wish of Central New York, as well as other local charities.

Granting wishes for children in need is a major focus of the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run. Photo by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.

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