Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"2007 Angel Ride to Save the TaTa's"

Poker run to raise funds for uninsured services for breast cancer patients

By SANDY MICKELSON, Messenger staff writer

The only thing better than having fun is having fun for a cause.

So when motorcycles and cars leave City Square in Fort Dodge Saturday noon on the “Angel Ride to Save the Ta-Tas” poker run, big fun is expected, and breast cancer patients will be helped.

Organizer Shirley Reekers and her husband, Vaughn, of Fort Dodge, came up with the idea of a poker run when they were headed to Quarters in LuVerne for pizza. A poker run, for those who don’t know, is a road trip to predetermined places, where a stamping card will be marked before participants move on. At the end of the ride, each participant draws a playing card for each mark collected, and the best poker hand wins.

Reekers admits to brow-beating people to donate prizes, so there will be prizes for the winning hands. Then she laughed because her brow-beating tactics aren’t all that strong.

Members of the Dragon Boat team called Fighting Angels Abreast are helping Reekers collect prizes, too, and many team members will be on hand at 11 a.m. Saturday for the poker run registration or at check-in points along the route.

“We’re volunteers,” said group member Marilyn Meier. “We like to help out with awareness wherever we can. We believe in supporting women causes and injecting our ‘pink’ message into them. Poker runs are a fun way to get a good group of people together in support of a good cause and have a little fun at the same time.”

Money raised at the poker run will be donated to uninsured services for women in cancer treatment at Trinity Regional Medical Center Oncology Services — for wigs, scarves, transportation to to treatment and whatever else is needed.

“We don’t know how many people to expect,” Reekers said. “We’d love to see a good turnout — the more the merrier. People can go by motorcycle or car. We want everybody to feel they can participate. And, even if people can’t go on the ride, they can donate money to the cause in honor of somebody.”

She said anyone who wishes to donate may stop at the City Square between 11 a.m. and noon Saturday. Registration starts at 11 a.m., and the ride starts at noon.

Participants may go in any direction they want, with the goal of stopping at seven locations before pulling up at the finish at Amigo’s in Fort Dodge. Route maps and poker stamping cards will be given out at registration. Towns on the run are Humboldt, LuVerne, Goldfield, Clarion, Eagle Grove and Webster City, in addition to the two Fort Dodge stops.

The cost of the ride is $10 per person or $15 for a couple. Those registering as couples each get a stamping card to be marked and each will end up with a poker hand.

Reekers, who rides a Yamaha 650 V-Star purchased in April, said she’s been riding with her husband for six years but likes having her own bike.

“It’s been a great way to meet people,” she said. “The motorcycle people we’ve met are really good about helping out for a cause. It’s pretty awesome to see that many bikes.”