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Emerald Coast Foundation Anticipating Another Strong Emerald Coast Poker Run

Returning once again to the beautiful waters in and around Destin, Fla., the 2019 Emerald Coast Poker Run and Boat Week, which is scheduled for August 7-10, is expected to be another gem.

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Team Black Diamond is expected to return to next month’s Emerald Coast Poker Run. Photo courtesy Emerald Coast Foundation.

“The Big One,” as event organizers are billing it, is filling up fast so if you’re interested in attending the enormous fundraiser for the Emerald Coast Foundation, now’s the time to sign up. Sponsored by IP Casino Resort Spa, the 27th annual poker run includes several days of party-atmosphere events leading up to the nine-stop run on Saturday, as well as entry into Saturday night’s popular convention center dinner and casino night, not to mention a future weekend stay for two at the Biloxi, Miss., casino, two event T-shirts and the famous poker run cooler bag—all for $295. (For an additional $200, there’s a VIP registration featuring reserved seating, special gaming tables and free drinks.)

“We received a lot of positive feedback last year, and we’re trying to take things up a notch or two this year while keeping the event affordable,” said Shaun Ritter, one of the primary promoters of Boat Week. “The stops are the same, although the order is shuffled, and the general outline of events remains the same. Last year’s party was a huge hit—everyone liked the food and the overall atmosphere. We’ve got a few new things in store for Saturday night that we’re expecting people to enjoy.”

Along with a Harley-Davidson grand prize giveaway courtesy of Emerald Coast Harley-Davidson, Ritter said one change is that the casino experience is going to be enhanced with the addition of different casino games, which gives participants a chance to win extra prizes and the foundation an opportunity to raise additional charitable funds through more games.

Ritter also said that this year’s “Miss Boat Week” contest hosted at The Block Club in Fort Walton Beach on Thursday night is going to be a bit more fashion-focused and classy compared to the 2018 event.

“We’re trying to keep this a more family-oriented event, without losing the fun that this event and this area is known for,” Ritter said. “In the end, this event is about making a difference in the lives of hundreds of kids through the Emerald Coast Foundation. This is a volunteer-run event; there are no paid employees. Every penny goes to the kids. We do it out of love and dedication to our community and our kids.”

Ritter said any questions can be directed to [email protected] or by calling 850-243-3800.

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