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Avast, mateys! Theres loot to be had on Lanier
Poker Run event raises money for local nonprofits
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Castaways Poker Run

When: Captains' party 4 p.m. Aug. 26, event begins 9 a.m. Aug. 27

Where: Begins at Holiday Marina, 6900 Holiday Drive in Buford.

How much: $85 per boat, $30 per hand for crew members

Pirates on Lake Lanier? Don't go overboard just yet; it's all for a good cause.

There will be plenty of bounty seekers on the lake Saturday as boaters take part in a popular annual event.

The 2011 Castaways Poker Run is organized by the Lanier Partners, a nonprofit, charitable organization dedicated to raising the quality of life for children, according to Board of Directors member Rea Williams.

"It's an event that's about Lake Lanier and about the children. We're trying to help out in any way we can," Williams said.

The event is a fundraiser for both Camp Sunshine and The Children of Fallen Soldiers. Williams said that he hopes this year's donations can surpass the 2010 totals.

"Last year, we gave $5,000 to each, and this year we'd like to be able to give $25,000 to each. Our goal is to raise $50,000 this year," Williams said.

The theme for this year's run is "Pirates on Lanier." Participants are encouraged to dress up in buccaneer gear, with awards for the best and worst boat decorations and costumes.

The best poker hand of the day will earn its holders $2,000, with $500 for second, $250 for third, $100 to the worst hand and $250 in a blind draw.

"It's about having fun, enjoying yourself in the lake and helping a good cause," Williams said. "It makes your heart warm when you can help children."

Williams said about 130 boats have registered so far, with 280 hands picked up from captains and crews.

Festivities will set sail at 4 p.m. Friday as entrants meet for the captains party at the Holiday Marina in Buford. Captains will pick up route maps, enjoy food and music and receive the announcement for this year's swimsuit contest.

Holiday Marina is located at 6900 Holiday Drive in Buford.

Beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, participants will leave their home ports and make stops along the route, collecting cards at each to compile their hands.

Registration is $85 per boat, $30 per hand for crew members. For reservations, or for more information, visit the Lanier Partner's website.