Poker Run raises money for solar buoys

Published 10:24 pm Monday, June 19, 2017

By Taylor Robins
Special to the Daily News

West Point Lake Life and the West Point Lake Coalition put on a first annual Poker Run for Boats Saturday at West Point Lake.

“We were extremely happy,” said West Point Lake Coalition board member and secretary Maureen Struble. “We want to thank everyone.”

The Poker Run, which ended at Southern Harbor, received a large amount of support from the local community. All proceeds went toward the lake’s Solar Buoy Light program.

“It was extremely successful,” Struble said. “We had over 218 entries. A lot more than we thought we would get. All the money goes to getting those buoys lit. They are very expensive, and we have something like 250 of them on the lake.”

“People can’t say enough good about the solar buoy lights,” Struble said. “They love them.”

The buoys help many fishermen, along with anyone else, who are out on the lake at night. Maintenance and replacement of lights and batteries costs around $14,000.

Saturday’s event was the first annual poker run for West Point Lake Life, along with the event being its first fundraiser with West Point Lake Coalition. The coalition has not had a poker run fundraiser since 2009.

Both groups are volunteers who help promote the lake and maintain the fish habitat.

“Anything for the good of the lake is what the coalition is all about,” Struble said.

During the poker run, participants drve around to buoys and showed a number. The participants would then receive a letter from one of the volunteers. Boaters would then continue to travel to a total of five buoys to spell out the word water.

“People were extremely excited,” Struble said. “We could not believe the turnout. Facebook and the newspaper really helped us advertise. The feeling was of a lot of excitement. People were eager to get going. Part of it is for people to enjoy the lake and to see parts that they may have not seen with the help of the checkpoints. It was successful, no one got hurt, we had great weather and everyone had a great time.”

A grand prize of $1,000 was awarded to the person with the best hand. A kettle grill was awarded to the second best hand and the third best hand won a cooler. There were also gift cards given out to the boaters.

Rain was forecasted for the event date, but there was nothing but clear skies.

Other activities at the event included two performances from volunteer musical bands, a Yeti cooler raffle, a 50/50 drawing and a giant water slide.

“The waterslide was a big hit with the kids,” Struble said. “People were telling me that they didn’t see their kids for two hours.”