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Support Our Troops Poker Run Turning 16

Among the longest-standing annual go-fast boating events at the Lake of the Ozarks in Central Missouri, the Support Our Troops Poker Run will celebrate its 16th anniversary this Friday morning when the fleet departs the docks of Dog Days Bar and Grill in Osage Beach. All proceeds from the event will once again go to H.E.R.O.E.S Care, a Missouri-based nonprofit veterans services organization.

Each year, go-fast powerboats from center consoles to catamarans comprise the Support Our Troops fleet on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks. Photos by Jeff Helmkamp copyright Helmkamp Photos

Registration for the event, which is organized and produced by Big Thunder Marine, is still open. A $150 donation is required.

At the operational level, the event provides a full day of powerboating for veterans provided by volunteer participants. Last year, 50-plus veterans reportedly joined in the fun on the water.

“There is still plenty of room and time to sign up,” said Jeremy Anderson, the general manager of the multi-location, full-service dealership at the lake.

The Support Our Troops Poker Run stops at multiple waterfront locations including the Bear Bottom Resort.

In 2022, the event raised more than $28,000 for H.E.R.O.E.S Care. Sponsors included Poly Lift Boat Lifts, Dog Days, Jay Enn Corporation, Dock Works, WIA Marine Insurance, Midwest Boat Party, Pro DeZigns, Bob’s No Wake Zone, Coconuts, Lake Burger, Tap & Grill, Neon Taco, Glencove Gas Dock, Bear Bottom, Frankie and Louie’s, Saratoga Hot Springs Resort, the Center for Spine and Orthopedics, and Paradise.

From its Dog Days home-base, the fleet will head to Bear Bottom Resort, Paradise Restaurant Bar, Nautifish Rum Bar, Franky and Louie’s Beachfront Bar and Grill, the Tap and Grill Lakeside Brew Haus, the Neon Taco, Lake Burger and Coconut’s Caribbean Bar and Grill. Participants will return to Dog Days to play their hands and enjoy a dinner/awards celebration.

“We continue to support this event because we believe in H.E.R.O.E.S Care,” Anderson said. “At the end of the day, it’s not about Big Thunder. It’s about the troops.”

Lake of the Ozarks-based Poly-Lift Boat Lifts is a stalwart backer of the Support Our Troops Poker Run.

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