Nolan Ferris, a longtime performance-boat owner who lives in West Monroe, N.Y., and is a member of the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run organizing committee, is a bit of a sap. Strike that. He’s a gigantic sap, the kind who frequently tears up at charity events, movies, weddings and such. He only buys shirts with sleeves large enough to wear his giant heart.
From Ski-Doo snowmobile representative to charity-event showman, performance-boat enthusiast Nolan Ferris is a man of many hats—and he wears them all beautifully.
But here is where we differ. Ferris is charismatic. He enjoys the public spotlight. I range from accidentally charming to sarcastic and snarky. The public spotlight burns my skin so I avoid it reflexively.
In 2019, Ferris, a 43-year-old native of Syracuse, N.Y., who lives with his wife, Kim, in nearby West Monroe, worked as an auctioneer/master of ceremonies for five events. For the third consecutive year, he reprised that role at the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run, which raised an event-record $110,500 with $15,000 going to River Hospital, $60,000 for Make-A-Wish of Central New York, $10,000 for Make-A-Wish of Eastern Ontario, Canada and $20,000 for the Jewish Community Foundation-Noah’s Care Bags. (The remaining balance went to local charities including volunteer fire departments in Clayton and nearby Alexandria Bay.)
During three days in August, he tackled auctioneer duties again at three fundraising events during the concurrent Lake of the Ozarks and Super Cat Fest events in Central Missouri. Three months later, he auctioned off a slew of amazing items and experiences during the fourth annual Speedonthewater/Offshoreonly Key West Bash, which raised $42,500 for locally based Samuel’s House, a nonprofit organization that serves homeless women and families.