Powerboat Nation was fortunate enough to be able to participate in the Brad Smith Memorial Poker Run this past weekend at Grand Lake, Oklahoma. Roughly 50 boats took part in what has turned out to be a great event with many many more boaters running along as spectators. This event has become a wonderful celebration and tribute to the life of such a close friend of ours and a recognition of the amazing work that Brad has build a legacy with in such a short time. Something that we rarely see or possibly recognize is that Brad Smith Power was on the water pushing maybe half of the fleet and Smith Power T-Shirts and other apparel were represented everywhere.

The generosity of the event was also exceptional as at least $25,000.00 was raised for the Brad Smith Children’s Fund from many businesses and friends donating items for the silent and live auction. PBN sponsor CNC Illuminations sent Smith Power Signs as well as others. One of these was the biggest item of the night. A Skater sign from CNC that A.J. Phillips just had to have and kept going until it was his for $3700.

Brad’s father Bob and Uncle were thankful,grateful and gracious and we received the warmest of reception from his wife Krissy, brother Brian as well as his close friends.

This event really set a tone with me as I witnessed how heartfelt this hard loss was to so many people. It was a great event and while I was very glad to be there I do so wish it did not have to be.

Brad’s loss is immeasurable to his family and friends and even beyond. Nearly a year later Brad’s name and company are echoed continually through conversations around the industry as he was unstoppable in his quest for innovation and engine horsepower development.

A very grateful thank you to Chuck Fink, Chris Helt and their entire group of family and friends who were such great hosts and made it possible for me to be at Grand Lake.