On August 12&13th, the WNYOPA’s 25th Annual Poker Run was held to benefit a local charity providing Lake Erie fishing and boating excursions to disadvantaged and differently-abled youth, as well as to raise funds to help defray the $20,000 cost of obtaining a service dog for Leah. The Buffalo Poker Run has grown over the years and event Chair, Steve McKie and his wife Chris, have been avid Run4Leah/CureNF supporters for the past 9 years. They pitched the idea of taking on two charitable organizations this year and won overwhelming support from the WNYOPA and the Poker Run Committee. Run4Leah/CureNF volunteers and the Manth family jumped at the opportunity to lend an extra hand throughout Friday’s registration at Buffalo’s premier waterfront location, Templeton Landing, and to share Leah’s story with numerous boat drivers and their crew members.
Leah & big brother Christopher
Ann Patterson, John Manth, Leah & Marybeth Shaw check out the scene at the docks
The sun was shining, the humidity was heavy and the marina was bursting with colorful high performance powerboats and their energized and very generous teams!
Some of the seventy high performance power boats participating in the event
The event was an overwhelming success, bringing in $7,000 through the Poker Run and another $14,000 through the private donations and raffles, all to bring Leah’s acquisition of a Hearing and Service Dog to reality!! We are overwhelmed by the generosity and energy of this group of boating enthusiasts including WNY natives and friends from as far as Florida and into Canada. We could not have done it without you! Leah has had several interviews with the placement coordinator at 4 Paws for Ability located in Ohio, the contract has been signed and the money has been paid, so we now await the birth of Leah’s service dog. Stay tuned to this blog, Facebook and Twitter for further updates!
We cannot thank the McKie Family and all of their friends at WNYOPA enough for making this dream a reality for Leah!
John, Linda, Christopher, Erin & Leah Manth receive the generous donation from Poker Run Committee Chair Steve, his wife Chris, and doaughters Megan & Maddie