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Non-profit gears up for 13th annual poker run

September 3, 2014

United We Ride members Gene Marten, Bob Dulude, Randy Gillespie, Susan Saunders, George Pendleton, Russ Adams, Bill Cooley, Ray Miklaucic, Paul Saunders, Mike Foote, Leonard Daughenbaugh, Adele Pratt, Mike Riggs, Muddy Waters, Susan Daughenbaugh and Dale Renfro during a recent ride. The club is inviting the community to attend its annual 9/11 Memorial Poker Run next weekend. Photo courtesy Marga Foote

United We Ride will be gathering next Saturday, Sept. 14, for its annual 9/11 Memorial Poker Run and barbecue to raise money for three local charities.
The 13th annual poker run will kick off with registration from 9-11 a.m. at Elks Park on West Line Street in Bishop. From there, riders head out on the Run, which will take them to Tom’s Place, Convict Lake and June Lake for cards, then back to the Elks Park for music, a barbecue, games and fun.
“While riding the course, participants will be able to enjoy the great area we have here in the Owens Valley and see what makes it as phenomenal as it is,” said Club President Dale Renfro.
United We Ride formed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. One of the group’s first orders of business was to organize a poker run to raise money for the rescue and relief efforts in New York.
Over the years, Renfro said the event has evolved, with proceeds from the annual fundraiser going to the Hospice of the Owens Valley. “A couple months back, we started talking to our members, and asked them to start thinking about where the money should go. At a meeting we had a show of hands” to decide which charities would benefit from this year’s run.
Ultimately, the 42 members of United We Ride decided to donate proceeds from this year’s event to Eastern Sierra Breast Cancer Alliance, Wounded Warriors Project and the Methodist Church soup kitchen.
In past years, United We Ride has seen as many as 60 to 70 motorcycle riders participating in the poker run. Renfro said that all are invited to ride, or drive their cars. This year, he hopes to have between 80 and 90 participants.
“And if you don’t want to do the run, you can still come to the barbecue, pay for lunch and some raffle tickets, have a good time and help a good cause,” Renfro said.
United We Ride will be grilling burgers and hot dogs, and a number of club members and local volunteers will provide a variety of salads and desserts. Also, the Bishop Elks Lodge will be opening its bar for the event. “We’ll also have some horseshoes out there for anyone who wants to play.”
Renfro also said that the club has received enough donations from businesses and individuals from Lone Pine to Mammoth Lakes to hold the largest raffle in the 9/11 Memorial Poker Run’s history. Prizes will go to the best poker hand collected during the ride, and to various raffle winners.
“It’s just a good time,” Renfro said. “Hopefully we can get everybody out to support these charities and get some community support.”
The cost for the poker run is $35 per rider and $30 per passenger. Registration includes a poker hand, a ride pin and the barbecue.
Those who would like to support the club, but don’t want to participate in the poker run are invited to join in for lunch at Elks Park for $10.
Anyone who is interested in joining United We Ride, or who would like to donate a raffle prize for the event, is invited to attend a Bike Night at Starbucks in Bishop from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 12.

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