Good friends Carey Downs (right) and Jeremie Floyd (center) will be remembered at a memorial poker run on Pickwick Lake in mid-August, nearly a year after dying in a boating accident on the lake. Photo courtesy Marsha Floyd
On Saturday, August 15 on Pickwick Lake in Tennessee, many friends and family members who didn't get the chance to celebrate the lives of Carey Downs and Jeremie Floyd after their untimely deaths last summer (read the story) are gathering for a memorial poker run in their honor. The poker run, which is being hosted by the Pickwick Parrott Heads, benefits local charities as well as the children of Downs, who worked at Pier 57 Motorsports in Counce, Tenn., and Floyd, whose wife Marsha is a longtime Pier 57 employee and one of Downs' closest friends.
To bring even more attention to the event, the first annual Carey Downs & Jeremie Floyd Memorial Poker Run is being held in conjunction with Darryl Worley's 14th annual Tennessee River Run, a fundraising concert for the Darryl Worley Foundation.
A mainstay in the country music industry, Worley shot the video for his iconic Tennessee River Run single (the one inset at right) on Pickwick Lake but in recent years moved the concert to downtown Savannah, a town several miles north of the lake.
"We're excited to have Darryl Worley back on this side of the dam playing for everyone in the water," said Marsha Floyd, who said the last year has been a challenge for her and the couple's two teenage boys but things are getting better. "Obviously we're doing this to raise money for the kids, but that's not all it's about. I'd give up all the money in the world to have them back. This is about remembering and celebrating Jeremie and Carey. I enjoy hearing from people or seeing their posts about what Jeremie and Carey meant to them—you can't put a price on stuff like that."
That's the main reason a website—the Infinite Love Benefit for Carey Downs and Jeremie Floyd Children's Trust—has been set up for people to share their stories with the families as well as find out more about Downs and Floyd. Marsha said she is currently handling donations for the kids' trusts, but that they'll be setting something up for people to donate online soon.
She also urged anyone interested in attending the memorial event to call her as soon as possible for accommodations as Pier 57's David Woods had booked most of the lodging around the lake. You can reach Marsha at email@example.com or 731-689-4000. She's also looking for corporate and event sponsors—for those who can't make it but still want to contribute in any way possible.
According to the event schedule, the poker run will start at 10 a.m. and wrap up at 2 p.m., just in time for the Darryl Worley and Friends concert, which is expected to conclude at 6 p.m. A party with food, music and a silent auction begins at 5:30 p.m. at Freddy T's Restaurant and Beach Club, with the poker hands being opened from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
"I'd also like to thank the organizers of Smokin' the Sound for offering to donate a portion of the events proceeds to the children's trusts," said Marsha, who will be attending next week's Smokin' the Sound Poker Run in Biloxi, Miss. (May 28-30) with her sons and Carey's mom, Janet, and his son and daughter. "It means so much to our families that another event would do such a thing to honor Jeremie and Carey."