At noon on Saturday, August 27th over 125 motorcycles and 193 people went for a ride for a great cause on a gorgeous day. The 8th Annual Veterans Benefit and Poker Run turned out to be a huge success according to the event planner and Auxiliary President, Holly Beard. Participants gathered at the Thunderbird Lounge in Hewittville for sign up and left at noon for four stops totaling about 70 miles.
"The whole thing went way beyond my expectations", said Beard. This year there were 193 participants beating out last year's high of 170. Included in the run this year besides the 125 motorcycles of various types, were a stretch limo, a dune buggy, and an RV that has been in the Poker Run for the last several years. When stopping at the Silver Dollar in Farmersville, there were several people lining the roads holding flags and signs of support for the event.
"Weather was a big factor in the huge turn out this year, as well as more awareness of our cause." Says Julie Pearson, Auxiliary Secretary Treasurer. "We made almost $7000 for the veterans at Danville and Quincy VA Hospitals.", she adds. The proceeds buy "canteen" books, fresh fruit, recreational materials and takes care of many daily needs of the residents at these hospitals.
The Auxiliary would like to thank everyone involved in the success of this event. Businesses and individuals in this and surrounding communities came together to provide some great prizes and a really fun day for participants.
During veteran recognition, over 50 veterans of various branches of the military were honored and thanked for their service. Rock Upton, an Army veteran, served as emcee and auctioneer for the event. For an array of pictures from the poker run, you can go to www.facebook.com/veteransrun.