Around this time last year, I wrote my weekly column about the excitement I was feeling leading up to the Pirates of Lanier Family Poker Run in Georgia. I had never covered the over-the-top, wildly generous and super-attended event in person so I was looking forward to seeing some friendly faces and meeting some new ones at the eighth annual spectacle that was presented by performance boater Dan Jape’s Reliable Heating and Air.
Lake Lanier Islands Resort, an impressive destination on Georgia’s Lake Lanier, is hosting the Pirates of Lanier Family Poker Run again. Photo by Jason Johnson
And that’s exactly what happened. I ran into plenty of familiar folks such as Jape, Randy and Cherell Scism, Tim Gallagher, John Woodruff, Beau Renfroe, Greg Harris, Yvonne Aleman, Stu and Jackie Jones, Frank Areces, David Southern, Gary Goodell, Justin Lucas, Rusty Rahm, Tony Canale, Tyson and Tristan Garvin, and Larry Goldman and his delightful wife and kids (rest in peace Larry). And I made some new friends, including Mark Campbell, Keith Nunez, Chris Shakespeare and many others.
Sadly I also was on hand for one of the most tragic stories I’ve ever reported on—the deaths of Art and Melissa McMahan and Anthony and Tammy Reece the day before the poker run (read the story). In respect to that crew from Kentucky, this year’s Pirates of Lanier Family Poker Run was moved back a week as not to compete with a memorial run taking place a year to the day of the accident on Lake Cumberland in Kentucky.
That’s pretty considerate if you ask me. Unfortunately due to scheduling conflicts, I won’t be returning to Georgia for the ninth annual poker run next month (July 20-22), but there’s no doubt I will be keeping a watchful eye on the annual event, which is organized by Lanier Partners of North Georgia and hosted by Lake Lanier Islands Resort, and reporting on it via attendees at the fun, family friendly happening on Lake Lanier.
Renfroe and Woodruff Out as Pirates of Lanier Poker Run Board Members
Highlights from Georgia’s Peach: The Pirates of Lanier Poker Run
Pirates of Lanier Changing Start, Adding Lunch Stops for 2015 Event