Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

September 11, 2013

Poker run raising funds to prevent child abuse

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat — Certainly not alone in the community outreach world where needs outweigh available funds and not content to stop helping out those who seek assistance are the various causes upheld each year by the McClain-Garvin County Youth & Family Center.

One such drive to supplement their contract which never lasts long is making its second annual push Saturday, September 28 through the Child Abuse Prevention Poker Run and helping lead the charge to do even better is Healthy Beginnings Supervisor Betsy White. Held this year apart from Child Abuse Prevention Month in April after weather put a bit of a damper on turnout the first time around, what was raised was good enough to hold it again as no amount ever donated can’t find some good purpose for a family in a desperate situation.

“We had really bad storms the night before, actually rained on us,” said White, noting how at each of the stops a poker card will be collected for each player to see who gets the best or worst hand before it is over. “We’re not going to deal with that, at least not try to.”

It’s an idea motivated and created in large part by the motorcycle themed charity Bikers Against Child Abuse, whose area president “Edge” or Jeff Sherrill approached the family center hoping to do what they could as Garvin County falls in what is the south central chapter, said White. The goal is to try and encourage that participation even further with hopes for more cooperative weather this time around and just a sample of the things that benefit from this money is their continuous diaper drive or helping a single mom who may not be able to pay her utility bill.

“Last year we had around 50 riders, we are hoping to at least double that this year,” said White, noting how she is proud to have seen examples like a kid get a digital camera for Christmas who may have not received a gift period. “Those individuals from that south central chapter are amazing…They truly do care about our kids, it’s truly impressive.”

Everything kicks off once again with registration in Purcell at 10 a.m. in the Ruby’s Inn and Restaurant parking lot at 1737 South Green Avenue, said White. The first riders will head out at 11 a.m. on US 77 South toward Pauls Valley where the second stop is the Chisholm Corner Service Station (The Shell station) near the intersection of State Highway 19 and Interstate 35.

The journey continues from there along State Highway 19 all the way to Chickasha, then two miles along highway 81, where riders will stop at Morris Motorsports, noted White. The last two stops the involve taking State Highway 37 to Tuttle at the First National Bank &Trust of Chickasha at 5311 Highway 37 and then going from there to the New Castle Exit where riders will go east on 24th Street before going north on the highway 67 service road where the run will end at La Luna Cantina & grill at 2812 Highway 62 Service Road.

In the end, it is the overall kindness that even makes a majority of the outreach by the Youth & Family Center possible, said White. All of the proceeds be it participation of riders for $25, passengers at $15 each or souvenir items like patches and t-shirts goes back to benefit the families who depend on these charities in both counties.

The winning hand will receive $500, second highest hand gets $200, and the lowest hand receives $50, said White. In addition, raffle tickets can purchased for a chance to win door prizes, five tickets for $2 or 50 cents apiece and the event has already been made possible thanks to corporate sponsors donating money for cash or other prizes.

“We do some good things for families but it’s the generosity of the people in our communities that allows us to do that,” said White. “Doing fundraisers like this allows us to do it.”

The end of the event also features a party type atmosphere at the Cantina where Dirty Red & the Soul Shakers will perform for those who participate through the whole run.

For more information contact call Elizabeth Patrick, office administrator at the Purcell office at 405-527-2424 extension 24 or White through her cell phone at 405-255-4147.