The Emerald Coast Foundation is proud to announce it's 25th annual Poker Run and Boat Week, coming up August 9th thru the 13th 2017. Power boats and family boats alike will fill the waterways for 5 days in one of the top 3 largest boating poker runs in the US.
The event has consecutively raised funds, totally over $2.5 million in 24 years, for local children's charities. This years recipient charities are Children in Crisis, The Eleanor Johnson Youth Center, All Sports and The Arc of the Emerald Coast.
"It's come a long way since year 1, when local business leaders Alan Laird,John Reinhold and friends gathered on Norriega Point with a few boats", said ECF President LA Woodall. "From partnering with the Florida Power Boat Club and bringing in the big go fast boats, the huge support of the community and the family boats in the Ruby Class, getting large sponsors such as the IP Casino Resort and Spa, prizes like a new Ford F150 donated by Hub City Ford and a new Harley Davidson motorcycle donated by EC Harley Davidson, local sponsors Resort Quest, Ramada, Mojo's,Goldring and many more. It's success can be attributed to to these great business's, but especially to the hard working individuals that make up the Emerald Coast Foundation Board", said Woodall. "They work all year on the poker run, and are totally volunteer. Every single penny raised goes straight to the charities. We are really proud of that".
"Every participant, power boat or family boat, leaves the weekend with a weekend stay at the IP Casino Resort and Spa in Biloxi, gets all they can eat and drink for 2 people at the poker party, gets a famous poker run cooler, its a unbeatable value", Woodall added.
Boat week will begin on Tuesday August 9th with the Harborwalk Village parade. The kickoff party for participants is Weds at AJ's on the Bayou, this year with a Blues, Brews and BBQ theme, Thursday boasts the annual Miss Boatweek Bikini Contest at The Block. AJ's Destin will be "Rockin the Docks" on Friday, August 11th with the Captains Party, and then the run will be on Saturday, August 12th from 10 to 4. Participants will bring their poker hands to the Emerald Coast Convention Center Saturday night for all they can eat AND drink and where the Emerald Class winner will go home with that 2017 Ford truck, and the Ruby Class winner with the 2017 Harley motorcycle.
Local childrens charities will go home with 150 K or more between them, because, after all, "It's all about the kids".
For more information or to register your power boat, visit the Fl Powerboat Club's site at uhttp://flpowerboat.com/nder
The Emerald Coast Foundation is a non-profit 501 C corporation.