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This Year’s Must-Attend Poker Run: Pirates of Lanier

In just its fifth year, the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run on Georgia's Lake Lanier is hoping to raise $300,000 for charity this July.In just its fifth year, the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run on Georgia’s Lake Lanier is hoping to raise $300,000 for charity this July.

Last week I had the pleasure of catching up, albeit it briefly, with Mr. John Woodruff at the Miami International Boat Show. Believe it or not, Woodruff, who turned 60 the day before, was carrying I’m guessing more than 50 pounds of promotional flyers in his backpack for the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run on Georgia’s Lake Lanier taking place July 18-20.

If you don’t know of Woodruff, he’s the Georgian native who owns Windship, the 48-foot Marine Technology Inc. catamaran, the first pleasure boat we tested at Powerboat magazine with twin Mercury Racing 1350s. The boat is a complete stunner, but that’s beyond my point here. The point is, I don’t usually see an “elite” poker runner such as Woodruff breaking a sweat passing out literature at a boat show. If they’re not in a meeting or running their business, they’re usually on their boat or waterside with a drink in hand.

But Woodruff is different—philanthropy is a way of life for him. For more than 20 years, he donated his time and money to the March of Dimes and even served on the organization’s board of trustees for the Georgia chapter. And before he got into boating, he helped organize a motorcycle ride that raised $8 million throughout the years.

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