Thanks to the dedicated efforts of Children’s Chance Executive Director Stephanie Amaker, a corps of volunteers and the skills of two passionate photographers, it was clear to everyone involved (and those who weren’t) that last weekend’s Lake Murray Poker Run in South Carolina and its organizers were serious about improving the sixth annual poker run.
The Lake Murray Poker Run in South Carolina hosted more than 80 boats. Photo courtesy David Andrews/Performance Images
To start, the event was moved to a new location—Timberlake Country Club in Chapin—that allowed participants access to more than 100 individual slips along four piers off of the golf course, which built a new clubhouse a few years back that served as an excellent location for the dining and parties.
Couple that with nice weather, raft-ups on both Friday and Saturday, a welcoming community, excellent leadership and 87 registered boats, and the poker run benefiting Children’s Chance’s—a Columbia-based nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life of children and families who are dealing with the trauma of pediatric cancer—was a total success.
Fortunately the talented photographer behind Performance Images, David “Swede” Andrews, provided some exceptional aerial coverage featuring a variety of performance boats (see slideshow below), and Jacob Davis, fresh off a trip to Kentucky for the Lake Cumberland Thunder Run (read the story), shot from land and water while joining Jacob Carter, one of the organizers of the event, in Carter’s twin-engine Formula Boats 311 SR1. (He provided a slideshow as well.)
David Andrews captured some great photos from the Lake Murray event as you can see in the slideshow above.
Following the raft-up Friday and registration party and captains’ meeting that evening, Saturday’s poker run covered more than 60 miles and included seven card stops ranging from the Lake Murray Dam to SouthShore Marina with breakfast, lunch and dinner provided at the Timberlake Country Club.
“Last year we decided to join up with Children’s Chance after a friend recommended them as a charity we should work with,” Carter said. “I met with them and was blown away. They do so much for the kids and their families. My wife is a pediatrician and we have a three-year-old and one on the way so seeing kids inflicted with cancer hits close to home.
“After learning the ropes last year, Stephanie (Amaker) and her group have taken the event and run with it,” he continued. “They really helped dress things up this year from the facility to the dining. It was nice to have everything in one central location that was more private and eloquent.”
Check out the slideshow above to see the Lake Murray Poker Run from the eyes of Jacob Davis/LakeLifePhotos.
Carter said that event registration was down a little from last year, and he believes a bleak (and incorrect) forecast scared some boats away and that others who have attended before may have been discouraged with the docks and meals situation. He stressed that the 2015 run was a whole new experience and that everything went incredibly smooth.
“We really stepped it up this year and we’re going to continue to improve,” Carter said. “We had one guy who has been coming every year tell us the event was the most organized and user-friendly poker run he’s been to and he’s traveled to Pirates of Lanier, Lake Norman, Jacksonville River Rally, Desert Storm and more. That was a nice compliment, that’s for sure.”
Because Children’s Chance is hosting a celebrity golf tournament at the country club today, the amount of money raised from the poker run was unknown at the time this story went live.