Taking place the same weekend as the Performance Boats Club Events’ Mike Fiore Memorial Can-Am Poker Run (read the story), Poker Runs America and several close-knit Outerlimits owners organized another Mike Fiore Memorial Poker Run in Toms River, N.J., to raise money for his children and pay homage to the founder of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats who died nearly a year ago following an accident at the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout in Missouri.
Johnny O’Loughlin, who owns the All Fired Up Outerlimits, was a major contributor in making sure the Mike Fiore Memorial Poker Run in New Jersey came together. All photos courtesy/copyright Tim Sharkey/Sharkey-Images
“A lot of people showed up to pay their respects to Mike, and some of those people came from pretty far away to do so,” said Paul Fiore, Mike’s father who participated in the event with his wife, Diane, and rode in Michael Ciasulli’s Cobalt Boats cruiser. “It really makes us feel good to know he had so many friends. Of course as a family we think a certain way about Mike, so it’s nice when you see all these people that he touched over the years from all over the place hold such high opinions of him as well.
“That’s the only good part about this situation, it’s heartwarming to see what kind of impact Mike made on people’s lives,” he continued. “I know these guys want to keep an event going in Mike’s name—I hope they do and I hope it gets bigger. It’ll be great for his legacy.”
Paul made sure to thank Outerlimits customer Dave Scotto and the rest of the group who helped organize the PBCE run in Canada. “I wish it had been on different days so I could have made it to both events,” he said. “I heard it was a great event.”
For the Poker Runs America-organized event, Trenton Marine opened its entire facility for the Friday and Saturday event, and a couple of Fiore’s closest friends from the beginning of Outerlimits—Johnny O’Loughlin of Bay Gas Company in New York and Pete Mazzo of Berry Creek Catering in New Jersey—put in countless hours to make the poker run a fitting tribute to Mike and his family.
For additional photos of the memorial run from Tim Sharkey, check out the slideshow above.
“In the early days of the poker run insanity with Mike and Outerlimits, Poker Runs America was there from the beginning so myself and Pete, who discussed doing a fundraising event at Mike’s memorial on the East Coast last year, decided to ask Bill Taylor to help us put this thing together,” O’Loughlin said. “Mike was such a courageous person in the factory, on a racecourse and as a father and a husband. It was such a horrible loss, but the best thing all of us can do is to try to carry on what he started.
“The greatest tribute we could give him is to carry on and hope his children benefit from all of this some day,” he continued. “I know Mike was looking down on us last weekend and giving us a thumbs up.”
Mazzo hosted a nice dinner party on Friday evening and also served up a spectacular drivers’ breakfast on Saturday morning. Along with the boats in the marina all weekend, several muscle cars were on display.
Thanks to a generous donation by O’Loughlin, East End Helicopter out of Long Island, got photographer Tim Sharkey and videographer Dan Pickering in place to capture Saturday’s poker run, which culminated with a luncheon at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City where Poker Runs America presented a moving video tribute to Mike, drawing from the archives of its magazine and video libraries. Arriving via water and land, more than 200 guests participated in the luncheon.
The lucky winners of the poker run were, from first to third, James Haskell in his 39-foot Nor-Tech Hi-Performance Boats center console, Mark Kozik in his 44-foot Outerlimits and Sal Sciadra in his 40-foot Skater Powerboats catamaran.
According to Bill Beccaro, a longtime friend of Mike’s who presented a fundraising program at the luncheon and is handling the Mike Fiore Children’s Educational Foundation through his law office, the boating community—not just the Outerlimits family—stepped up tremendously to support the cause.
“It is a lousy reason to get together, but that being said it was a great opportunity to raise some money for Mike’s kids and visit with friends we don’t see too often,” said Beccaro, who won’t have a final amount of money raised for some time as there are on-going fundraising efforts and donations being sent through the mail. He said that if anybody wants to contribute to the foundation, please address checks to: The Mike Fiore Children’s Educational Foundation, c/o Law Offices of William P. Beccaro, 12 New City St., Essex, CT 06426.
“I know everyone throws the word ‘legend’ around loosely, but in Mike’s case it fits,” Beccaro continued, adding that in addition to the personal contributions made by the participants, $100 from each poker run entry fee was donated to the foundation by Poker Runs America. “Yes he broke records and had an extraordinary list of accomplishments, but I’m talking about the sum total of the man. He was a father, a husband, a visionary, a boat racer, a record breaker, an innovator, a businessman and so much more. Mike was so unique. Keeping his legacy alive is the least we can do.”
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