A large group of kayakers pass by the bridge on Nation Valley Road during the 2022 CKC Poker Run as goldfinches look on. Thompson Goddard Photo

CASS BRIDGE – It was a bright and sunny day for the 2022 Poker Run hosted by the Chesterville Kayak Club on June 11. The event saw two stand-up paddle boarders and 76 kayakers enter the Nation River at Cass Bridge near Winchester. Participants were expected to arrive at the boat launch near Veterans’ Park in Chesterville a couple of hours later. The day concluded with a barbecue lunch at the Nelson Laprade Centre.

CKC past president Bonnie MacIntosh explained that the first Poker Run was held in 2011, one year after the club was formed in 2010. This year, the event raised funds for Naomi’s House, Community Food Share, the House of Lazarus and Camp Kagama explained Kim Smith, CKC treasurer in a post-event email.

McIntosh explained there were kayakers and SUPs from Brockville, Kars, Ottawa, Embrun and the Chesterville area. Smith mentioned the youngest participant in the event was approximately 9 years old, with the oldest kayaker in his 90s. There were door prizes for those participating as well as prizes for the top five poker hands. “The winners of the best poker hands were 1st Connie Chartrand, 2nd Mary Lynn Plummer, 3rd Darwin Smith, 4th Tracy Villeneuve, 5th Gisele Hâché,” commented Smith.

“A thank you to the members of the Chesterville Kayak Club for their time and effort to make this poker run a success,” said McIntosh. On behalf of the CKC, Smith wished to thank South Nation Conservation for their assistance and to “Winchester Foodland, Mike Dean’s, Greg’s Meats, Avonmore Berry Farm, Christ Church United, Mike’s Baked Goods, Louis’ Restaurant, Finch Feed and Seed, Fat Les’s Chesterville, A.B. Greenhouse, Grampie’s Sugar Shack, Metcalfe Lions Club, Finch and District Lions Club, Chesterville Rotary Club” for their donations to the event.

The Recreation and Culture Department of the township of North Dundas recently announced the launching of a kayak lending program this summer. The free kayak and safety vest one-hour rentals will be available from the boat launch in Chesterville, with more information available on the township’s social media pages or by contacting the township office.