Thanks to my friend, Ed Champion, I’ve kept a watchful eye on the Support Our Troops Poker Run over the past decade, and it’s been neat to see the MidwestBoatParty.com-hosted event continue to grow year in and year out.

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Mark Maasen of Poly Lift Boat Lifts, one of the Support Our Troops Poker Run presenting sponsors, drove his Nor-Tech 340 Sport center console in the event. Photo by Brad Glidewell/Brad Glidewell Photography

Champion isn’t nearly as involved with the poker run, which takes place on Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks and benefits the H.E.R.O.E.S. Care program in Fenton, Mo., as he once was since his full-time job with Big Thunder Marine keeps him rather busy, but the event is still going strong. In fact, this year’s 13-stop run that took place Friday, June 23, with gatherings the day before and after had 106 boats registered and donated a record-setting $29,000 to the program that provides complete and proactive support for members of all branches of the military and their families through pre-deployment, deployment, family reintegration and post-deployment.

There are a couple of reasons for that. Of course the generosity of both the sponsors and the participants is the primary one. Without sponsors such as Sunsation Boats, Poly Lift Boat Lifts and about 20 others, the event wouldn’t happen. Or if it did, it would be a fraction of what it is today.

Read more: Even More Support

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