Once again the Lake Erie Offshore Performance Association hosted a fantastic event for its club members and many other guests who participated in the Thunderfest Poker Run to Put-in-Bay, Ohio on Friday and Saturday.
Thanks to good weather, the turnout for the LEOPA Thunderfest Poker Run was up this year. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix
Following last year’s revitalization of the fun run to and from Put-in-Bay, which was successful despite unfavorable weather and watercraft advisories on Lake Erie, the LEOPA members were blessed with excellent weather and water conditions last week and the turnout was larger because of it.
“We had more than 70 boats on hand this year and overall the weekend was a lot of fun,” said Jeff Upholzer, LEOPA’s treasurer who did the run with his wife, Teri, in their 36-foot Avanti center console. “It definitely helped that we had better lake conditions and nicer weather this year. Friday night’s cocktail party at T&J’s SmokeHouse, which was sponsored by American Custom Marine, was great and the Saturday night dinner and awards party at Niagara Events Center was excellent. I’m pretty sure everyone had a good time.
“The lunch stop on Saturday at Lyman Harbor was amazing—they really went all out for us between the lunch spread and the band that performed,” Upholzer continued, making sure to thank the many event sponsors, including American Custom Marine, Todd Fountain’s Dynamic Fire Protection Inc. and Joe Gilstorf’s Home Specialist Inc., among others. “Anchor Point was a fun stop, too. It was the first one and it was the one we ended up cancelling last year because of the weather so it was good to get out there this time around.”
Check out the slideshow above for more of Boden’s images from the LEOPA Thunderfest Poker Run.
Upholzer, who expects the event to continue to grow, said he was impressed by the “wow factor” of the boats on hand for the Thunderfest Poker Run, which was a fundraiser for the National Muscular Sclerosis Society.
“LEOPA is made up of a really good group of people and Thunderfest is a direct extension of that,” said Mike Knoblock, the owner of American Custom Marine in Kimball, Mich., who did the run in Mamba, his 51-foot canopied Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats V-bottom. “I like to see the association grow and this event is helping. We had a great time. The weather was good—it was a little hot but bearable—and the turnout of people was pretty remarkable.”