By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Mayor Dwight Coleman termed Saturday’s Charity Poker Run a big success.
With 22 motorcycles and three cars taking part in the 160-mile trek, the mayor’s goal of 25 vehicles was met. Twenty-seven people in all were registered.
Being a charity event, too, all the proceeds from registration fees and local business support after expenses were donated to The Giving Circle, an organization of local women who donate to worthy causes in the community.
The Giving Circle will receive more than $800 from the event, which will be used in their monthly “givings.”
While weather threatened in the morning, the afternoon ride in Nebraska and Colorado turned out just perfect for the participants, Coleman said.
“No one ran out of gas and no speeding tickets were issued, either,” Coleman smiled.
At registration in the Imperial city gym, participants were issued a playing card before leaving Imperial. Another card was picked up in Benkelman, then at Haigler and, finally, in Wray, Colo.
From Wray, the group traveled north to Holyoke, Colo., then back to Imperial.
When riders arrived back at Imperial, the participants threw darts at a board filled with playing cards, where they picked up their fifth card.
Al Zuege determined the top three poker hands after the fifth cards were acquired.
Don Banks of Imperial took first and the $300 prize with a jack-high flush.
Second place and $200 went to Ryan Wisnieski of Imperial, who finished with a queen-high straight.
Third and a $100 prize was won by Laurie Boon of Benkelman, who had three eights.
Banks donated all of his $300 prize winnings back to The Giving Circle. Wisnieski and Boon each donated back $50 of their winnings, as well. That represented two-thirds of the prize money donated back to the organization.
There were a couple of other fun events during the ride, including a “bug spot” competition sponsored by AACE Wash Systems.
AACE provided a small sticker that each vehicle placed somewhere on its windshield. The two returning with the most bug splatter on their stickers won prizes from AACE.
First place went to Kelly Ohrman of Benkelman, with second to former Imperial resident Doug Allen, now of Arizona.
Each received a bucket of AACE-donated vehicle care products.
A number of door prizes were also awarded.
A grilled hamburger meal, salads and drinks were served by The Giving Circle to conclude the evening.
Mayor Coleman didn’t fully commit to hosting another Charity Poker Run next year, but said “it’s a good possibility.”
Business sponsors for the event included AACE Wash Systems, Adams Lumber, DSK Irrigation, Farm Bureau Financial Services, Imperial Country Ford, Platinum T-shirt & Embroidery, Southwest Title and Tequila’s Mexican Grill.