Speed boat on Lake Lanier flying pirate flag with passengers sitting in front

A boat full of ‘pirates’ enjoying last year’s Poker Run.

Organizers for the Pirates of Lanier Poker Run are beefing up the two-day event by adding a Classic Wooden Boat Show and bringing in three boats from the Allsouth AutoSports Black Diamond team the weekend of July 15-16.

Taking place at Margaritaville at Lake Lanier Islands, the event raises funds for children’s charities in Georgia, including Camp Sunshine, Camp Twin Lakes, Edmondson Telford Advocacy Center, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier and the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes.

“We’ve planned a great weekend for our local and out-of-town participants, as well as members of the community,” said Richard Pickering, vice president of Lanier Partners, which organizes the annual event. “Our board and volunteers have been working over the past six months to create a memorable event while keeping in mind that our focus is on raising money for our youth charities.”

Friday’s signature event, Cheeseburger on Paradise Beach at Margaritaville, includes the AVC stereo competition from 11:30 to 2 p.m. That day, from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Helicopter photos will be taken at Buford Dam. A portion of the proceeds from photo purchases will be donated to the charities.

From 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday evening, the captains’ meeting, dinner and mandatory safety presentation takes place at the Harbor Landing Pavilion.

The main event Poker Run goes on from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday with card stops at the following locations: Holiday Marina, Lazy Days Marina, Port Royale, Aqualand Marina, Habersham Pointe and Gainesville Marina (closes early at 2 p.m.). Lunch stops will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at various marinas around the lake.

Saturday’s card playing at the casino at Landshark Landing begins at 5 p.m. Awards at 9 p.m. will be followed by fireworks over the lake at 10 p.m.

There will be a special donation tab for funding this portion of the weekend on the group’s website.

For more information, to register or make a donation, visit www.lanierpartners.org.

Seeking donations for kids to see poker run
“This year we’re adding a special treat for the youth at Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes,” Richard Pickering said. “Thirty youth, ages 6 to 16 years old, will be hosted on a houseboat Saturday to watch the Poker Run from the water. They, along with their chaperones, will receive waterpark passes for Saturday and Sunday, plus an overnight stay in a local hotel, and lunch and dinner on both Saturday and Sunday.”
Lanier Partners is seeking donations to sponsor the youth activities. “A donation of $200 will pay for one of these youth to participate,” Pickering said. “We’re hoping people will open their hearts to allow these youngsters a chance to see the poker run and enjoy some time at the water park.”