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Helmets were some of the many prizes given away during the second annual Poker Run hosted by Armed Services YMCA at New River at New River Harley Davidson Buell motorcycle shop in Jacksonville, N.C., May 5.

Photo by Pfc. Nikki Phongsisattanak

Motorcyclists participate in ASYMCA fundraiser

5 May 2012 | Pfc. Nikki Phongsisattanak

Motorcyclists participated in the second annual Poker Run hosted by the Armed Services YMCA at New River Harley Davidson Buell motorcycle shop in Jacksonville, N.C., May 5.

As motorcyclists rolled in, the thundering rumble that accompanied them shook the ground as the polished paint and chrome of the steel steeds shone in the morning sun. The occasion was an ASYMCA fundraising event that was open to the public. The motorcycle run was a combination of a poker game and biker rally.

“We come out here and try to help out charities as much as we can because we support organizations that care about (service members and their families),” said Mr. “Tracker,” a motorcyclist that participated in the event.

Riders registered on the day of the event on site and were given tally sheets to keep track of their poker hand.

After participant registration completed, the motorcyclist flipped up their kick-stands, fastened their helmets and released the throttle.

The 60-mile route started from the New River Harley Davidson Buell, where they also received their first card. Riders made stops at various businesses to pick up a card at each checkpoint before returning to their starting point to complete the course.

As the riders completed the event, they feasted on grilled foods and cold beverages. Participants then gathered for the raffle drawing prize giveaway and the announcement of the rider with the winning poker hand. Raffle winners received items such as motorcycle helmets and T-shirts.

“I cannot say enough how great (supporting organizations were) with the door prizes,” said Denise Cordova, assistant program director with Armed Services YMCA. “They went above and beyond.”

Supporting organizations and volunteers pooled together to assist ASYMCA with the event.

“It’s great to see the (members of the community), veteran and retired service members here at our event,” said Cordova. “The guys that have gotten out of the military are still showing that they care by being here to support us. We also had support from the junior enlisted (service members) here helping us with the event.”

ASYMCA collected the proceeds from the Poker Run to fund future events for service members and their families.

“We want to give back to the military families because they give and sacrifice so much for us,” said Barbara Robinson, the program director with ASYMCA. “If their husbands or wives are deployed it can be challenge, so we provide events and activities for the military families to be involved in and enjoy.”

For more information on ASYMCA programs and events call 450-0497 or visit