The first-annual Poker Run to benefit local youths Gary Lewis and Tristen Mider was a huge success.
At 8- and 14-years-old, Washington High School student Mider and Miami Trace Elementary student Lewis were both diagnosed with Leukemia in January of 2021. Now 9- and 15-years-old, these two boys still battle this terrible disease with ongoing treatments and procedures.
The benefit was held last Saturday.
A social media post explained, “It was a privilege to work alongside all of you with the goal of helping Gary, Tristen, and their families to the best of our abilities. We are so grateful that Gary and Tristen were both feeling well enough to join us Saturday and see the outpouring of support from our community and surrounding areas. It was truly special to spend time with the boys and their families on a beautiful day as we all gathered to do good.”
Nearly 150 bikes and their riders gathered at the Eagles Lodge in Washington C.H. to register and eat breakfast in the morning. The ride took off shortly after 11 a.m. and arrived back at the American Legion in Washington C.H. shortly after 3:30 p.m.
Thanks to incredible sponsors, expenses for the event were covered up front allowing for every penny raised on Saturday to go directly to the Lewis and Mider families. Through ticket sales, t-shirt sales, 50/50 sales, food sales, auction sales, and donations – this was the best fundraiser yet.
“Our community continues to amaze us, and the generosity from those traveling to the event from out of town was astounding. Out of respect for the wishes of each family, we will not be (sharing) the final total raised. To all who contributed, please know your efforts were mighty, and we were able to give a generous sum to each family,” explained the post.
The Eagles FOE Aerie #423 was a platinum sponsor and opened its doors for the ride’s kick-off. The Eagles Ladies Auxiliary provided hard work in preparing an awesome breakfast, while the Eagles bartenders accommodated everyone and donated your tips back to the cause.
Volunteers assisted with rider registration, dealt poker hands, sold t-shirts, raffle tickets, and 50/50 tickets. Many of them started at the Eagles and worked late into the night.
Brad Forsythe and his team of road guards led the ride itself and made it as smooth and safe as possible.
Local bands donated their time, including The Jesters, The Smokin’ Mirrors, and KRANK. Jeff Runk of Klassic DJ Services entertained the crowd between bands and helped with special announcements. The Sunny Ledfurd band traveled all the way from North Carolina.
The American Legion Post 25 was a sponsor and donated their space to the cause. Volunteers at the American Legion helped set up, worked the ticket booth, organized the auction, served food, sold 50/50 tickets and raffle tickets, sold t-shirts, and helped with security. The bartenders at the American Legion rocked it and kept guests happy.
Doug Bonham, Ted Waddel and Gus Bonham volunteered their time to cook the food. Various vendors and food trucks also joined the event and donated back to the cause. Mary Chrisman and Randy Newland donated “The Bus’s” time to provide a free and safe ride home for anyone who wanted.
Joe Guard and Tim Carpenter captured many great photos of the event.
Jamie Steiner, Kay McCoy and Casey Bentley directed traffic.
Coach Josh Thoroman and the Miami Trace soccer team were among many who volunteered Sunday for cleanup.
Gordon CDJR allowed the use of property for the stage setup and bike parking.
The post explained, “A huge shout-out for stepping in and allowing us to raffle off a Harley Davidson. You gave us the goal to sell 500 tickets in 48 hours, and we are proud to announce that we met that goal. Your generosity is humbling. Lastly, we would like to give one final shout-out to our sponsors. From the families and us at the Lewis Mider Benefit Fund, please know that none of this was possible without you. Your generosity covered all our expenses and allowed us to focus on raising money for the Lewis and Mider families. From the bottom of our hearts – thank you.”
Platinum Sponsors: FOE Aerie #423, Riten Industries, Inc.
Diamond Sponsors: Flickinger Legal Group.
Gold Sponsors: CENTRAL OHIO EXTERMINATING, IBSM Roofing and construction, American Legion Post 25 – Washington Court House.
Silver Sponsors: Sheridan Insurance Agency, Chiropractic Health & Wellness Center, In Loving Memory of Ronnie Sword, Riding From The Sky With Butterflies in Memory of Candace Lynch.