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Meals On Wheels Expecting Another 200-Plus-Boat Hartwell Lake Poker Run

In just a few weeks, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Meals on Wheels services in South Carolina’s Anderson County is going to take place—the Hartwell Lake Poker Run (June 22-24). And for the more than 200 boat owners organizers are expecting to register, the eighth annual poker run has a new host location in store.


From go-fast boats to pontoons, a variety of boats take part in the Hartwell Lake Poker Run. Photo courtesy Ashley Addison Photography

The recently sold, expanded and revamped (with more renovations to come) Big Water Marina in Starr, S.C., is going to serve as the poker run headquarters this year, according to Laurie Ashley, the executive director of Meals on Wheels – Anderson.

“Big Water Marina has been on the lake for more than 30 years, but it wasn’t large enough to host this event before an energetic group purchased the property and began making improvements to it,” Ashley said. “We were running out of space at our previous location so the timing was great.”

The five-stop poker run on Saturday is preceded by Friday’s fun run, which includes an afternoon luau followed by an evening sponsor party featuring a live auction and entertainment from The Eric Scott Band, the same popular band that’s performing at Saturday’s awards party. New this year, Ashley said the event is getting involved with the Thursday night Downtown Anderson Block Party to showcase 10 to 12 boats and hopefully make more of the public aware of the type of boats that come to town for the poker run.

Ashley and company expect another fundraiser total north of $60,000, all of which goes toward feeding elderly, disabled and homebound neighbors who receive Meals on Wheels services in Anderson County.

She said online registration is available through Monday, June 19. After that, onsite registration is required and increases to $85. She also stressed that if you sign up as a sponsor of any level that a boat registration is included with the sponsorship.

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