National Sales Manager Kevin Skiba and I are traveling to Michigan later this week to attend the 10th Annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run. Tad Whitten will meet us there with the Marketing display truck.
Having grown up in Sault Ste. Marie, a few hours North of Boyne City, I have fond memories of our family ski trips to Boyne Mountain. I’m looking forward to heading back to my old stomping grounds to witness this popular run. I spoke to event promoter Mike Knoblock recently. He said the event has a maximum capacity for 85 boats, and they’ve reached that limit. He is ecstatic with the growth they have experienced over the past nine years.
Event organizer and Main Street director Hugh Conklin said, “What has made Boyne Thunder special is its relationship with Camp Quality, a nonprofit organization that provides special experiences and support for children with cancer. Since it began, Boyne Thunder has raised more than $220,000 for Camp Quality, and it has become an important part of the camp’s success.”
A new Boyne Thunder partner this year is Challenge Mountain, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching and improving lives for the mentally and physically challenged through outdoor recreation. All donated dollars to Challenge Mountain go directly to support winter and summer programs including skiing, biking, canoeing, kayaking and sailing. Mercury Racing is honored to be associated with events such as this, whose main goal is to give back to the community and enrich the lives of those in need.
Boyne Thunder kicks off Friday evening with a street party. The poker runs starts 9:30 a.m. Saturday. The 140 mile run over the waters of Lake Charlevoix and Lake Michigan includes card stops in Northport, Elk Rapids, Harbor Springs, Bay Harbor, and a lunch stop in downtown Charlevoix.
Quite a few of our industry friends are attending. Jay Nichols, who provided the wonderful 2012 Boyne Thunder pics featured here, is coming after much pleading and prodding from me and buddy Ron Szolack. Matt Trulio will be on hand to provide Speed on the Water readers his first had account of event highlights. Nor-Tech sales rep Terry Sobo will be making a return trip as will Michigan natives Wayne and Joe Schaldenbrand. They are bringing a fleet of Sunsation boats. Michigan is also home to Douglas Marine. There will be plenty of Skaters to wow spectators, I’m sure. We hope to catch up with Peter Hledin while we’re there.
We look forward to seeing old friends and making new friends in our neighboring state.