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Raceboats And More Pack The Pack The Pantry Poker Run

A water- and land-based event, last weekend’s first Pack The Pantry Poker Run in Englewood Beach and Port Charlotte, Fla., attracted a mix of 87 go-fast V-bottoms, center consoles and catamarans—with a slew of Offshore Powerboat Association-member raceboats such as Bronx Phantom and Team Woody among them—as well as several exotic cars and motorcycles. The run boasted six card stops, five of which could be reached by land as one stop was a pontoon boat where participants could grab an ice cream while picking up their cards.

Control Freak was one of several offshore racing teams that took to the water last week to support the first-year Pack The Pantry Poker Run. Photos by Pete Boden copyright Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

The team behind the concurrent annual Englewood Beach Waterfest and Offshore Powerboat Association’s annual Englewood Beach World Championships, which return to the Southwest Florida city this year after last year’s COVID-19-forced hiatus, produced the event. Their goal was to raise money for the Charlotte County Homeless Coalition and Englewood Helping Hand. Both organizations provide food and services to people in need.

Though the fundraising total is not in, the organizers reportedly sold 189 poker hands for the event.

Enjoy more images from last weekend’s Port Charlotte happening in the slideshow above.

“The poker run was a huge success,” said Ray LaBadie, the lead organizer of the Englewood Beach OPA World Championships. “We may not have a cash total for a few days as our treasurer is an accountant busy with tax season, but there were some incredible boats in the run.

“The best part was raising awareness for our Englewood Beach Waterfest event,” he added. “We did a lot of networking.”

The organizers plan to hold the event annually. Photo courtesy/copyright Dion Photography.

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