Sunday, June 17, 2007

CMN Poker Run

This past Thursday I was at Bike Night at Porky's and there was a guy handing out flyers for the 1st Annual Children's Miracle Network Poker Run. It was $20 per person, and you got free burgers / chips / pop all day, with the chance to win some prizes. I love poker runs because you usually get to meet a lot of nice people and the money goes to a great cause. Andrea and I geared up yesterday at 10:30 am, and headed for the Ankeny Wal Mart parking lot to get registered.

It was a beautiful day in the mid 80's, sunny, a small breeze, which is pretty much ideal for great riding. We took off with a group of 5 other bikes towards Saylorville Lake for our first stop of our 100 mile run. The object of this poker run was to make 5 stops, and at every stop you drew a chip out of a bucket, the chips were numbered 1 - 52 (cuz that's how many cards are in a deck), and the goal was to get the highest chipcount you could. What was my first draw? 1. As in One. The lowest chip in the bucket. I asked if there was a prize for lowest, and they said there was, but it was more of a booby prize. That became my mission for the day.

The next stop we were in for a nice little treat. That treat came in the form of a terential downpour. It came out of nowhere, and it felt like the drops were the size of golf balls. I had water overflowing out the top of my boots, and my freshly waxed bike was a complete disaster. But we pushed through it, and 5 excruciating minutes later then we were back on the sunny backroads rural Iowa, drying off as fast as we got wet.

We made all our stops, and were waiting for the rest of the bikes to get back so we could draw for prizes. In our first group of 5, the ladies counting the chips told us that as of right now, Andrea had the highest count, and I had the lowest, but there were still 7 - 8 bikes out that haven't had theirs counted.

Then it came time to announce the winners. The 3rd place winner for highest chip count was....... Andrea Kneifl. For that, she received a $25 gift card to Hy-Vee. Nice. The prize for lowest chip count goes to........ some guy named Doug. Dang! The guy beat me by 4 measly points for the booby prize.

After that, they drew for prizes with the tickets we purchased during registration. Andrea's name was drawn and she won this cool little motorycle clock. My name was drawn for sunglasses and a Sturgis Bandana. It was a great day, we met some very nice people, ate some good food, and actually took home some pretty sweet prizes. There's a pic of the prizes below.

Now, I don't like to think of a Charity Poker Run as profitable, but for $20 each, we made a pretty nice haul. Oh, and helped out a great charity. That too. ;-)

Friday, June 15, 2007

Relay for Life

I love to Blog about good news, good events, positively contributing to this planet, or stuff that's just plain fun to talk about. This post has it all, and I've been dying to write about it, ever since I got the pictures from Chad. So here we go....

Last Friday, there was a Relay For Life event in Waukee, Iowa to help raise money for cancer research. Chad and his family are big supporters of this cause because Chad's mom, and his brother are both survivors. The annual walk takes place for 12 hours. (6:00 pm to 6:00 am), and they have been participating for many years.

I have donated money to cancer charities ever since my sister Brigett, was diagnosed at age 29. I never have really felt the effects of cancer until it hit that close to home. I think it's a great cause, and I know my money is actually going to research, not just to pay a bunch of administrative costs, like some other charities. Sometimes it takes a wakeup call like that, to actually get people to start thinking seriously about a cure.

For the past couple of years I have purchased a luminary in honor of Brigett, for this event. The luminaries represent both people who have survived, and those who have had their lives taken. The luminaries run around the entire track. I believe they do that, because it adds a sense of purpose to the event. A visual representation of all the lives that the participants and donors are affecting. When people get tired, they can take a quick glance to their left and see why they're doing what they're doing. This is a picture of the luminary I bought for this year's event:

One other thing that was really cool about the event was the fact that Cory (Chad's Brother) was this year's Honorary Survivor. Here he is chatting with John McCain, who made a much-welcomed surprise appearance.

This is part of the team who put in 12 hours of overnight walking to make this event a HUGE success. The baton is Cory's because he was the Honorary Survivor.
Baton.... Relay.... Get it?

From left to right. Cory, Lindsay B, Lindsay W, Chad.
They do this event every year, and Chad made the ultimate sacrifice this time, by missing out on our monthly poker club. I don't care if you like poker or not, you gotta respect that. Excellent job guys, I feel honored just being a small contributor to this wonderful adventure.

By the way, is it just me, or does everyone in that picture look happy to be there, with the exception of Chad. Who appears to be suffering from a poorly timed bowel movement, or has taken a quick trip to Seering Gas Pain Land.

It's just an innocent observation, and I'm wondering if I'm the only one who sees it.