2017 marked the 9th running of the annual Lake Powell Challenge through the scenic sand stone canyons of Lake Powell. While the name may imply a competition of some sort, the real challenge of this great event is not to out run your fellow Poker Runners but rather to raise more money for charity than the year before. The good people at Antelope Point Marina who put the event on take great pride in bringing together special group of boaters each year who share in there passion for finding a cure for type 1 diabetes through the organization JDRF. The main focus of the event is charity and with more than $250,000 raised at last year's run it was going to take some generous folks with big hearts to top the previous number set.
Well the poker run community is no stranger to stepping up to plate when it comes to charity and at the end of the weekend more than $500,000 dollars was raised for JDRF in hopes of a cure! The auction held on the last night of the LPC should be the envy of every west coast event promoter and is the perfect example of how to raise big money for charity. The venue is awesome, the food is great, the MC is entertaining and enthusiastic and the auction items are top notch. The top item of the night was an amazing chair made from exhaust pipes donated by Barrett Custom Marine. The chair brought in a whopping $44,000 after the dust settled!
The Lake Powell Challenge is a small poker run in comparison to many of the other events around the country with around 82 boats participating in the festivities and if you do the math this is the highest grossing boating related charity event per capita in the country. There is no doubt as you walk around the docks of the beautiful Antelope Point Marina that everyone from the staff to the participants takes pride in making this an event to remember.
It's not hard to see why this run has become a must attend for so many boaters on the west coast, with it's second to none scenery and laid back, hometown hospitality of the event staff. Lake Powell challenge isn't just a west coast event though. The rest of the country is taking notice and this year saw participation from Missouri's MTI Boats as well as folks from the Florida Powerboat Club. This little charity run has caught the attention of some big players and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for this fun event.
Words and Photos by Tom Leigh (Tommy Gun Images)