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Boat poker run raises money for American Cancer Society

Boaters at Harbortowne Marina in Belmont recently raised $250 for the American Cancer Society through a poker run on Lake Wylie.

Poker runs typically involve bikers who ride motorcycles to five stops, drawing a card at each one to complete a poker hand.

The biker with the best hand wins the cash, and proceeds go to charity.

Joel and Casey Summitt, who manage Harbortowne's marina and ship store, planned the May 30 poker run by boat with a couple of folks who dock their boats there year-round.

"This gives people a chance to ride around the lake, win some money and give to a good cause all at the same time," Joel Summitt said.

Harbortowne's poker run drew about 20 boats, with each passenger paying $15 to play.

Boaters pulled their first and last cards at Harbortowne and cruised to anchored boats marked with special flags to receive the remainder of the hand.

"We had boats anchored at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, Seven Oaks Cove and the sandbar," said Summitt. "We paid $100 for the best hand and $50 for the worst hand. Back at the marina, we had hamburgers and live music. Nine times out of 10, the winners give the money back to the charity."

Harbortowne Marina will sponsor its next poker run on July 3.

All boaters are invited to participate.

"We'd like to get more people involved and get boaters from across the lake participating in the poker run," Summitt said. "We're trying to get T-Bones and other marinas like River Hills and Tega Cay to be stops as well. People will come in to draw their card and have something to eat or drink while they're there. It's good for everybody on the lake."

Proceeds at the July 3 poker run will benefit the American Cancer Society's breast cancer research programs. Future events could benefit local charities or families in need.

"There's a special camaraderie with boaters," Summitt said. "We all share the love of riding and the desire to be out on the lake. This is a way for us to do what we love and give back at the same time."

The next Harbortowne Marina Poker Run will be held July 3 on Lake Wylie. For information, call 704-825-5050.