A self-described “river rat,” Alexandra Buduson grew up in Clayton, N.Y., the home of the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run. Now 34 years old with a two-year-old son, she was working as the Clayton Chamber of Commerce events coordinator when Bobby Cantwell and Doug Tulloch, two of the poker run’s founding members, asked her to join the organizing committee for the inaugural event in 2017. She agreed to be part of that first-year team of Cantwell and Tulloch, Ken and Renee Lalonde, and Jeff Morgan and Nolan Ferris, but of whom would eventually depart the committee. And in many ways has become the glue that binds it all together.
The glue that holds it all together for the 1,000 Islands Charity Poker Run—meet Alexandra Buduson (second from right). Photo by Tim Sharkey copyright Sharkey Images.
DESCRIBE YOUR ROLE WITH THE 1,000 ISLANDS CHARITY POKER RUN ORGANIZING COMMITTEE.
I think my official role is ‘secretary’ but I’m kind of like a hub. Everyone on the committee has a different role. Everyone gives me their information for permits and so on and I keep it together. I actually have a checklist. I’m also in charge of registration and correspondence with the participants.
DO YOU HAVE A BOATING BACKGROUND?
(Laughs). I have always been a great passenger. I grew up on the water, not in a boat of my own but I spent a lot of time on the (St. Lawrence) river every summer. I didn’t get into speedboating until I started working on our event and went for the best ride ever with Ken and Renee Lalonde (in their 48-foot MTI catamaran) and Tim Gallagher (of MTI at the time), and I was immediately hooked.
WHAT HOOKED YOU?
It was nothing like I had ever experienced. It was so fast, but it also felt so safe.
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