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Boat Scramble to raise funds for Lee County American Red Cross

By Staff | Jan 15, 2009

The air will be cold, but hopefully it will not stop boaters from heading to Cape Harbour on Saturday to take part in the American Red Cross’ Inaugural Boat Scramble, the first of the organization’s 2009 fund-raising efforts.
A combination scramble/poker run, the event is specifically aimed at the boating crowd, an otherwise overlooked fund-raising demographic. The American Red Cross saw the opportunity to not only raise funds, but preach the word of water safety.
“The geographic location of Lee County brought this around. We have the right amount of water,” said Colin Downey of the American Red Cross. “This is a group of citizens or residents we haven’t reached out to before. Water and boating safety is something the Red Cross holds dear, so, along with a fun day we can get across a message of water safety.”
The scramble takes boaters to 12 different waterfront locations throughout the county, where they collect a poker chip. Boaters then return to Cape Harbour by 5:30 p.m., exchanging the chips for cards. The owner of the best hand wins the poker run.
Downey is not anticipating the cold temperatures as being a major factor in the event, only the wind, which she is hoping stays calm.
“It’s not the cold weather we’re thinking about, it’s the wind. But the wind forecast is not as strong as it looked,” Downey said.
All money raised for the Lee County branch of the American Red Cross stays within the county. The county has been a factor for 90 years.
Downey said the American Red Cross’ 2008 fund-raising efforts were successful, if not entirely overwhelming, despite the limp economy.
“We did OK last year. We had a few events to help weather the storm, so to speak,” Downey said. “We’re in good shape right now, but it doesn’t mean we have to stop working.”
The event kicks off at 9 a.m., with all poker chip locations closing down by 4 p.m. To register, call 278-3401, or visit: www.arclcc.org.