With well-known performance-boating community members such as Ben Robertson and Michael Landis in the mix, last weekend’s Lake Murray Children’s Chance Poker Run in South Carolina raised at least $45,000 for the pediatric cancer charity. That puts the run at least $10,000 ahead of last year’s fundraising total.
“And that’s just a rough number,” said Stephanie Amaker, the executive director of Children’s Chance. “I’m still totaling everything up.”
Performance-boating great Ben Robertson gave rides in a 46-foot Predator V-bottom. Photos courtesy/copyright Jacob Davis/Lake Life Fotos.
The two-day event attracted 82 high-performance V-bottoms, catamarans and center consoles.
“Stephanie worked her butt off and put her heart into getting this run going, and Mike Hinson and Jacob Carter did a great job pulling in sponsors,” said Jacob Davis, one of the event photographers. “The lunch stop was great, the food was great throughout the weekend and the people who won first, second and third place in the poker hands donated the money back to the charity.
“The biggest thing of all, everyone stayed safe—there were no accidents,” he added. “I only wish more people would come and see what this event is all about. There were kids there who were fighting cancer and had beaten cancer.”
According to Amaker, the event’s bikini contest alone raised $4,200 for the charity.
“That was in just 30 minutes,” she said. “The boaters were just awesome. Last year, we had 60-something boats. This year we had 82. We also had a new venue and it worked out great. And I fell in love with Ben Robertson. He’s such a sweetheart.”
Robertson, who owns the Charleston, S.C.-based BAR Marine Group, which is a dealer for the Norway-based Predator Powerboats, brought a 46-foot Predator V-bottom to the event and gave rides to kids and their families involved Children’s Chance.
“The weather was good and kids loved it,” Robertson said. “We took out 23 or 24 kids on the boat and it turned out really well.”
Said Davis, “The biggest thing of all, everyone stayed safe—there were no accidents.”
A DVD capturing the event currently is being produced and will be available in the near future.