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Inside SOTW Mag: 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run—Rising To The Top

In the end, it wasn’t the spectacular scenery surrounding the St. Lawrence River, which neatly separates the United States and Canada in upstate New York, that stole the show during the second 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run in Clayton. Nor was it the immaculate, 118-boat fleet of catamarans, V-bottom sportboats and center consoles—up more than 40 percent from the previous year’s fleet—that took to the water for the two-leg, before-and-after-lunch, 160-mile run. It wasn’t even the 747 wildly enthusiastic participants who came for a good time and left with full hearts.

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In just its second year, the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run is well on its way to becoming one of the finest events of its kind. Photo courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey Images.

No, in the end, it was a five-year-old boy named Tyler English who stole the show. English, you see, has a congenital heart defect, which is a problem “present at birth that affects the structure and function of the heart,” according to the Children’s Heart Foundation website. “People with CHDs face a life-long risk of health problems such as issues with growth and eating, developmental delays…heart failure, sudden cardiac arrest or stroke,” the site states.

English, a delightful boy in the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York program, took the stage during the awards dinner with Diane Kuppermann, the president and chief executive officer of the foundation, which is the event’s primary benefitting charity. Appropriately overwhelmed by the 700-plus adults in front of him, he didn’t have much to say.

To read the full story, click the download link for the PDF of the July/August 2018 Speed On The Water magazine, and please share any feedback with us below, via email or on social media.