As boats cruised past on Lake Lanier, a roguish bunch of about 20 pirates raised their Jolly Rogers high and shouted ‘Argh!’
According to officials with Lanier Partners of North Georgia, a “community-based nonprofit organization” of boaters and businesses, over 200 boats with about 1,200 participants signed up to partake in the 13th annual Pirates of Lanier Charity Poker Run, held July 15-17.
Lanier Partners raises money to help fund organizations devoted to children, donating to organizations like Camp Sunshine, Camp Twin Lakes, Boys & Girls Clubs of Lanier, Edmondson Telford Advocacy Center and Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes.
To get in on the action, the Forsyth County News took to the waves and joined the pirate ship, captained by Richard Pickering, vice president of Lanier Partners of North Georgia. Volunteers from the group Thunder Pirates were dressed to the nines in large skirts, corsets, tunics and of course, feathered tricornes.
The pirates were diligent in shivering the timbers of each pontoon, cigarette boat and spectator, and they made sure to raid a houseboat carrying volunteers and children from the Georgia Sheriff’s Youth Homes, a nonprofit that provides “safe, loving care for abandoned, neglected and abused children.”
While pirates can be scary, each child bravely chatted with members of the group, excited to receive gold coins and beaded necklaces. The children were then provided with tickets to the nearby waterpark.
After a quick stop for some grub and grog at Pig Tales at Aqualand Marina, the pirates boarded Pickering’s boat again and headed to meet the participants and winners, to finish the day’s festivities and celebrate the success of another year’s Poker Run.