The second annual Joe Sgro Memorial Poker Run will be held this weekend in New York City to remember the late offshore racer and raise money for his favorite charity.
The Joe Sgro Memorial Poker Run takes place Saturday, September 14, out of Liberty Landing and organizers hope to surpass last year’s money raised for Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Organizers currently have 25 boats registered and more than 100 people attending but expect the numbers to grow prior to the poker run.
“It’s in honor of Joe and a way to raise money for the hospital that Joe was passionate about,” said Joe Cibellis, a friend of Sgro and helped launch the poker run in 2018. “We had done other things for Maria Fareri Foundation and this is just way to have another boating event in New York.”
Sgro, 63, died in a boating accident in November 2017 during a poker run in Florida. At the time of his death, Sgro was the president of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboats in Bristol, Rhode Island.
Outerlimits will be well represented at the Memorial Poker Run but the run is open to all brands, Cibellis said. They are expected to be joined by offshore racers Billy Mauff and Steve Curtis, who Sgro competed with on the offshore circuit.
Elite Poker Runs is organizing this year’s Joe Sgro Memorial Poker Run. Organizers are holding a party and dinner Friday night at Surf City, a lower key affair compared to last year, Cibellis said.
Saturday’s run starts at 10:30 am outside Liberty Landing Marina and from there the participants will grab cards north of the George Washington Bridge and then outside the Yonkers Yacht Club. After picking up a card at Charles Point Marina, the boats head to lunch and awards banquet at the Blu Point Restaurant. The boat will head back to Liberty Landing Marina after the poker run.
Instead of an auction, the run will be doing a 50-50 raffle with the proceeds going to the charities. Last year’s auction raised nearly $25,000. “I don’t know how much it’s going (to raise) because it’s a different event,” he said. “People are still donating before and after the event.”
Cibellis hopes the poker run will revive performance boating in the region and remember their friend Joe Sgro.
“We’re starting to slow down a little bit in New York and I’m trying to revive the beauty of the Manhattan Skyline and the Hudson River, we have a lot to offer here in this area to do boating,” Cibellis said. “Back in the day, New York City Poker Run was one of the biggest poker runs in the country. I want to see that come back.”