Pamlico River fun run to benefit children with cancer

Published 6:24 pm Thursday, June 1, 2017

Local business owners are banding together to raise funds for children afflicted by cancer with a fun run down the Pamlico River.

On Saturday, dozens of boats will take to the river for “Haulin’ Ass on the Pamlico,” a fundraiser created by brothers Chris Bowers and Brad Parham. Bowers, owner of Bowers Performance and Custom Marine in Washington, and Parham, owner of A&B Motorsports in Hertford, have been hosting the event for three years, its proceeds going to different recipients each year. In 2015, the run and subsequent auction and dinner raised $3,000 each for two local disabled veterans; last year, the money raised was put to the Christmas angels program, providing 113 Beaufort County children with Christmas gifts.

“We pick something different every year,” Bowers said. “Me and Brad, we both believe in helping individuals, instead of big organizations.”

This year, the plan is to give two 5-year-old boys, each with cancer, the proceeds of the fun run.

“We’re raising money to help the families,” Bowers said.

In past years, HAOTP revolved around a poker run, in which participants would pick up a card at designated stops, and the resulting best hand would win a prize. Organizers changed that up this year — participants are instead picking up raffle tickets at three stops: the Washington waterfront, the Quarter Deck in Bath, and at a private residence on Blounts Creek, with a lunch stop at Tavern at Jack’s Neck in Belhaven.

“Everybody buys a wrist band, everybody has a number, and everybody has to make all the stops,” Bowers said.

Boat owners can register up until 10 a.m. Saturday morning. Event start is at 10:30 a.m. and all participants will meet at Iconic Marine (formerly Fountain Boats) either by land or sea. Iconic’s boat ramps are open to those taking part, and the company is hosting the barbecue and auction following the run, according to the company’s marketing consultant, Julie Johnstone.

Johnstone said Iconic is happy to sponsor HAOTP’s continued success.

“They typically get about 40 to 50 boats — the weather obviously plays a big role in it,” Johnstone said. “People like to do it for a good cause; they like to show off their boats; they like to make the run together.”

Johnstone said Iconic also will have some of their newest boats on display at the event.

“We’ve got some really cool new stuff that’s just coming off production line, so it’s a good time to come out and see what we’re making,” she said. “We’re wanting to show off a little bit, as well. We’re excited to see what kind of turnout we get.”

For more information about HAOTP, visit the event Facebook page.