For Burl Griswold and the entire team at Antelope Point Marina in Page, Ariz., there was more reason than ever to celebrate on Wednesday night. Not only was a portion of the marina’s slips as well as its fuel dock back in working order following a strong microclimate storm that zeroed in on Lake Powell last Thursday, the team deter-mined that its ninth annual Lake Powell Challenge was going to donate a half-million dollars to the Mountain Valley Chapter of JDRF. To this journalist’s knowledge, that is the largest amount of money raised at any performance boat event.
The Lake Powell Challenge is one of the most scenic events in the country. Photo by Tom Leigh/Tommy Gun Images
Pretty incredible. Thanks to the most participation in the event’s history—82 boats, which is nothing to write home about in terms of poker run participation figures—the Lake Powell Challenge is donating $500,000 to the organization dedicated to fighting Type One diabetes.
“I can’t believe it, I really can’t,” said Griswold, who thought a realistic $350,000 to $400,000 figure, still well beyond last year’s $250,000 mark, was within reach. “That amount of money makes it worth going through one of the most difficult weekends of my life. The storm came through and broke apart some of the docks and we couldn’t sell gas. Fortunately a lot of people around here stepped up and lent a hand.
“The generosity that the boaters here displayed was incredible,” he continued. “I can’t tell you how many of them asked me what they could do to help instead of complaining about the situation. I’ll never forget this year. It went from the nastiest storm I’ve ever seen in the 12 years I’ve been at the lake to the coolest event I’ve ever been a part of.”