Organized by Performance Boat Club Events, also called the Performance Boat Club of Canada, last weekend’s Mike Fiore Memorial Can-Am Poker Run turned into quite an impactful event honoring the founder of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats who died nearly a year ago following an accident at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri.
John and Julie Tokar joined the Mike Fiore Memorial Poker Run and earned the Best of Show award in their stunning Outerlimits 43 SV.
Of course the fact that Shonda Whipple-Fiore, Mike’s wife and mother of their two young children, Jet and Moxie, was on hand with her brother, Dustin, one of Mike’s best friends, definitely added to the emotion. Still, the run that departed Sarnia Bay Marina in Ontario on Saturday morning for lunch at the Windsor Yacht Club across the river from Detroit, was overwhelmingly positive.
Posing with a check for a very generous donation to the Mike Fiore Children’s Foundation is, from left, PBCE President Carl McBride, Title Sponsor Dave Scotto from Concord Hardware/Team GottaGo, Shonda Whipple-Fiore, Dawn Scotto and Dustin Whipple.
Beginning with the incredibly impressive $65,000 raised for the Mike Fiore Children’s Foundation, which benefits the education of Jet, Moxie and Mike’s oldest daughter, Sophia, the weekend was filled with excellent weather, spectacular hardware and tons of great stories about the legendary boat builder who touched so many lives.
“It was nice to see so many of the Outerlimits customers and family members come together to honor Mike,” said Dustin Whipple, who flew in from California to join the American and Canadian boating enthusiasts in not just Outerlimits, but Cigarettes, Fountains, Nor-Techs and more, for the memorial. “It was difficult to be there because practically any time we went to an event in the past it was with Mike. There were some somber moments, but overall it was an awesome event and everyone involved with it made us feel so welcome.”
Canadian Dave Scotto, who was a driving force behind getting the PBCE to organize the event, was impressed with the fundraising aspect as well as the new venue for the club, which has been around for the better part of 30 years.
“The whole thing was very emotional, as you’d expect, but it was also good fun and, even better, it was all for a good cause,” said Scotto, who currently has a new Outerlimits 5o-foot V-bottom being built. “I’m pretty sure we’re going to do it again next year, and we’ll make it even bigger.”
Check out the slideshow above for a few more images from the poker run courtesy of Carl McBride/DPG Media. For even more pictures, be sure to visit the club’s Facebook page.
As it happens, the event was scheduled on the same weekend as another memorial event for Fiore in the Northeast organized by other longtime Outerlimits supporters (read the story on the other run.) Both Performance Boat Club of Canada and Poker Runs America have made it clear that they will work to avoid conflicting dates next year.
“It was a phenomenal event—everyone had a wonderful time,” said Carl McBride, PBCE president and president of LA Boatworks in Penetanguishene, Ontario. “The biggest takeaway from the weekend for me personally wasn’t that this was some big boat event, but that it was a big-hearted event. I couldn’t believe how much money we raised for the children’s fund. And on top of that $5,000 was donated to the St. Joseph’s Hospice of Sarnia Lambton, an area of need within the community recommended by local officials. We always support a charity, that’s the reason we do this.
“It was cool to have so many Americans join us; they really blended well with the culture of this club—it’s not about ego here,” McBride continued, adding that the philanthropic arm of the organization is called Performance Boat Club Charities. “We were especially grateful to have Shonda with us and thankful to have the opportunity to honor her husband amongst people who shared the same passion for performance boating. I know I will never forget the outpouring of emotion and the way the entire room responded when we presented her with a memorial award to commemorate Mike. Not everyone can appreciate the level of commitment he had for this sport. He was one of a kind.”
McBride said the club plans to continue the event and definitely return to the welcoming community of Sarnia. He believes the event could grow, especially considering the network of American performance boaters who attended the memorial run and had a great time.
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