Launched in late March 2021, the Englewood Beach Waterfest Pack The Pantry Poker Run attracted almost 80 boats. Registration for second-year event, which is set for April 8, opened registration yesterday and its organizers are expecting another strong turnout.
Organizers of the Englewood Beach Waterfest Pack The Pantry Poker Run are hoping to build on their first-year success. Photo by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.
Through sign-up fees, sponsorships and a canned-food drive, the event helps support the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition and Englewood Helping Hand. Both organizations provide food and services to people in need.
“More than a ton of canned goods were collected, along with a cash donation, for each charity, last year,” said Ray LaBadie, a member of the Englewood Beach Waterfest organizing committee. “I want to remind all participants to bring canned food again this year.”
Participants can enjoy the run by water or land, according to LaBadie. As in 2021, the water course will have five stops and the land course will offer six stops. Among the on-water stops is an “Ice Cream Social Boat” that will be positioned in Charlotte Harbor.
“An ice cream social on the water—that stop was huge last year,” he said.
As the longtime site for the Offshore Powerboat Association Offshore World Championships, set for November 17-20 this year, Englewood Beach is well known to offshore racers—and several participated in Pack The Pantry last year. A slew of racers is already committed to this year’s run including Mark Robbins, Vinnie Winoski, Micheal Stancombe, Chad Woody, Damon Marotta, Mark Nieman Billy Shipley, J.J. Turk and others, as well as Phantom Boats founder/owner will Smith.
Online captain/boat registration is $50 and online passenger registration is $25. Online registration, which is discounted form on-site registration, closes April 5 at 5 p.m. Would-be participants can click here to register.