Poker Run benefits Red Cross

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Bourbon County Chapter of the American Red Cross will be conducting a new event on Saturday, which will allow them to raise the necessary funds to meet various local needs.

According to Whendi Martin, Executive Director of the local Red Cross, the Bourbon County Chapter will be conducting the first Ride for the Red Poker Run in Bourbon County at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 3. Riders should register at 12:30 p.m. at the local Red Cross office, 116 S. Main.

Although the Bourbon County Red Cross is partially funded through the United Way, the local chapter relies heavily on private donations and fundraisers in order to meet all of its yearly requirements. Martin said in order to raise enough funds to meet the needs of the local chapter, the Bourbon County Red Cross conducts about five different fundraisers each year. The poker run, which Martin said she hopes to make an annual event, will help raise these necessary funds.

Each participant, who pays $10 per hand, will receive an event t-shirt, Martin said. The first stop on the poker run will be in Arma at which time Father Robert MacElwee from Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Frontenac and Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Arma will bless the motorcycles. After the blessing of the bikes, Martin said the riders will be able to draw their first cards. From there the bikers will pick up cards at Union Station in Uniontown, the Mapleton Cafe and C-Store and Pleasanton Pump'n Pete's Convenient Store.

According to Martin the last card for the poker run will be drawn at Gunn Park Shelter House 5. Also at the park, riders will be able to partake in refreshments and receive prizes.

"The final destination will be a cook-out with hamburgers and hot dogs, chips and prizes," Martin said.

Some of the prizes that have been donated for the event include, Royals tickets, Wal-Mart gift cards, a cash prize and drawing for other donated items, Martin added.

According to printed information provided by Martin, during 2008, the local Red Cross responded to 20 local disasters, which included 16 residential fires. In addition, the chapter helped 12 individuals and families with food, shelter and supplies. In order to help provide much needed aid to area residents, the Red Cross relies on local volunteers, according to the Red Cross information.

"Because being prepared can make your family and community safer and sometimes minimize injury and destruction," the information said, "we have 35 people on our disaster team who will respond to fires, etc. and 20 additional members who will help us in the event of a major disaster. We continue to train local volunteers to respond to disaster."