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Boaters, 'buccaneers' run fast boats at Lanier for charity
90-plus take part in Pirates of Lanier Poker Run for local charities
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Tommy Nocilo of Chapin, S.C., makes final preparations before launching his boat Saturday morning. - photo by FRANK REDDY

Anthony Hughes of Carrollton is dead serious about buccaneer life, from the bandanna tied around his head to the black Cavalier boots on his feet.

He and fellow members of the Atlanta Pirates and Wenches Guild — Kelly Chambers and Randy Stapler, both of Carrollton — were among those who attended the annual Pirates of Lanier Poker Run on Lake Lanier Saturday morning.

Meeting up at Sunset Cove, more than 90 were registered to drive or ride boats in support of Camp Sunshine, Camp Twin Lakes and the Hall County Boys and Girls Clubs.

In line with the yearly theme, many dressed as pirates.

Samantha Beaver of Charlotte, N.C. sported her best swashbuckling garb.

“It’s a good time,” Beaver said. “It’s fast boats for a good cause.”

Tommy Nocilo of Chapin, S.C. agreed. He came out Saturday with wife, Alex.

“We wanted to come out and help support the cause,” Nocilo said. “I like boats, and it’s a good chance to see some great boats and then give money to charity. You can’t beat that, can you?”

In a boat poker run, participants travel from one designated stop on the lake to another. At each stop, they pick up playing cards until they complete all of the stops. These stops Saturday included Lanier Partners Headquarters, Holiday Marina, Port Royale Marina, Gainesville Marina, Hideaway Bay Marina, Aqualand Marina and Habersham Pointe.

All of the proceeds raised over the weekend went to the above mentioned charities.

Camp Sunshine is a Georgia children’s camp program that aims to enrich the lives of Georgia’s children who have cancer. Camp Twin Lakes is the location for Camp Sunshine. The Hall County Boys and Girls Club serves the needs of “at risk” children in Hall County.

That’s what made the trio from the Atlanta Pirates and Wenches Guild want to show up Saturday, they said. Well, that and the prospect of dressing like pirates.

For more information about the fundraising event, visit