Poker Ride In Virginia

By JULIA LeDOUX

jledoux@potomacnews.com

Dozens of motorcycles were lined up at Dale City American Legion Post 1503 on July 29, as eager riders prepared to take part in a charity poker ride to support the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project.

“If only the troops could see that all of these guys have their backs,” said LHCP president Karen Grimord as she looked over the row of gleaming Harleys.

LHCP is a non-profit organization that provides comfort and relief items free of charge to military personnel who become sick, injured or wounded as a result of their service in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. Donated items are distributed to military patients at Landstuhl Hospital, the largest American military hospital outside the United States.

“My son was born at Landstuhl,” said Julie Tichonhuk of Dumfries as she signed up for the ride.

The event included a variation of five-card stud poker and led bikers on a more than 120-mile journey through Dale City, Woodbridge, Manassas and finally Stafford, where they finished at American Legion Post 290.

“Somebody has to support them,” said Joe Jablonski, a Marine Corps veteran from Gainesville who made the ride.

Riders had to pay a $20 entry fee to play poker. They each received a spreadsheet that contained all card numbers and suits at the beginning of the ride. Participants made five stops along the route, where they drew cards. Those with the highest and lowest hands won a cash prize at the end.

Army veteran Jon Banks of Fairfax said he debated on whether or not to attend church or participate in the ride. After praying about it, he opted to hop on his Harley.

“It’s for the troops,” he said. “I just got the sensation that if I’m doing something good for somebody, it’s as good as going to church.”

Poker Ride Mike Lee and RidersPoker Ride Mike Lee and RidersBike 2Bike 2Poker-Ride-Karen-Sharon-KarenPoker Ride Karen, Sharon & Karen
Bike 3Bike 3Poker Ride Signing UpPoker Ride Signing UpPoker Ride PavilionPoker Ride Pavilion

Bikers Ride, Play Cards for Good Cause

By JENNIFER BUSKE
jbuske@staffordcountysun.com

 

HOG Rally 19
Good Cause

Bikers from around the region will gather Sunday to take a little road trip, play some poker and raise money for a good cause.

Starting at 8:30 a.m., motorcycles will gather at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1503 in Dale City to begin the second annual Landstuhl Hospital Care Project Charity Poker Ride.

“Bikers are big supporters of a lot of non-profit organizations and charities,” said Landstuhl Hospital Care Project founder and biker Karen Grimord. “Some bikers have tattoos, leather and the whole nine yards, but they have deep pockets too and love to help out.”

Sunday’s charity event, which also includes a variation of five-card stud poker, will bring bikers on a 117-mile journey through Manassas, Woodbridge and then into Stafford where they will finish at American Legion Post 290, according to Michael Lee, chairman of the poker ride.

In order to play the poker game, riders, who pay a $20 entry fee, get a spreadsheet that contains all card numbers and suits at the start of the event, Lee said, noting that entry-fees go to the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project. Participants make five stops along the route to draw cards and those with the highest hand, and the lowest, win a cash prize at the end.

“Most motorcyclists like to come out and support these things,” Lee said, noting that they had about 100 participants last year and raised about $7,000. “They don’t need much of an excuse to get out and ride.”

Prizes are awarded at the end of the ride at the Stafford American Legion, Lee said. There will also be food, a 50/50 raffle and door prizes that have been donated by area businesses.

The Landstuhl project is a non-profit organization that purchases and supplies “comfort and relief” items for military personnel sick or injured in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan, according to its Web site. Items are distributed to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany, field hospitals in Afghanistan and Iraq and to Veterans Affairs facilities in America.

“I’m a Vietnam vet,” Lee said, about why he got involved with the poker ride. “I know these kids are coming back seriously wounded and then oftentimes are just forgotten. They come out of Afghanistan or Iraq, show up at Landstuhl and have nothing – no toothbrushes, clean clothes, nothing. This project helps out with that.”

Grimord said they send a variety of supplies, but what is currently in demand is duffle bags, breakaway pants, pajama bottoms for men, fleece blankets and men’s travel size deodorant. The organization ships every week, Grimord said, adding that they will soon be getting, and then shipping, 1,400 pounds of blankets.

“I know these kids overseas need all the help they can get and that’s my motivation, and the motivation of the people involved,” Lee said. “I’m just happy people have fun and are raising money for a good cause.”

Grimord said the Landstuhl project also aims to help keep up troops’ spirits, letting soldiers know they have support back home. Grimord said that oftentimes the men and women feel they aren’t supported, and she hopes the donations and photos from fundraisers like the poker ride will show them otherwise.

“If the troops could only see the people that come out on this ride and see how much support they have,” Grimord said. “It is just a great event and shows many people do care.”

 

Want to go?

What: Landstuhl Hospital Care Project Charity Poker Ride

Where: VFW Post 1503 – 14631 Minnieville Road in Dale City

Time: Registration begins at 8:30 am.; the ride at 10 a.m.

Cost: $20 and an additional $5 to play two poker games.

Norwich Ride to Remember our Troops

Norwich 2nd Annual Ride for Troops
Norwich 2nd Annual Ride for Troops

“Ma’am do American’s still support our effort, do they still care?” I have been asked this question several times over the last 12 months by troops serving in OIF/OEF. My answer is always yes and I’m sorry our media feels more incline to show those that do not, but trust me we are still here.

The Norwich American Legion Riders from post 189 held their second annual LHCP benefit. As I traveled through the beautiful hills of Chenago County with the red barns, white silos and homes with large front porches I thought about last years motorcycle rally and the dedication and conviction these individuals had shown our troops. It has been exactly a year since their last benefit; would the residents of Chenago County be less supportive of our troops, as the main stream media has been reporting of our American population? I can report that a lack of support is not happening in Chenago County, in fact it more than doubled, hooah!

I want to tell you that my words will never express the outpouring of support I viewed through the side mirror of a motorcycle this past weekend. When you look in a mirror you usually see what you have left behind, passed by or what is getting ready to pass you but in Norwich , NY it was different. The route is 80 miles though winding, curving, wooded, beautiful back country mountain roads.

I could not help but notice the farmer’s fields that had not yet been planted and watch the birds swimming in the large pools of water, either from a recent rain or from all the snow that had just melted. I noticed that you would not lose site of one silo before seeing another. But as we got into the route I saw them, they were all lined up like military troops themselves. One leading the pack, then one on the right, one on the left about 15 yards behind, then another on the right, about the same 15 yards, another to the left. Then myself and in the side mirror I saw those that continued behind me. Some might think they were just all following the leader but it is so much more.

Look in the side mirror and you see the lights from each bike and you realize that each one is a beacon of pride, faith and each light represents another American that came out to say I have your back. That beacon of light that says can you see us, we are here and we will not forget that you are there, defending freedom. Have faith in us that we will be here for you now and when you return; we will have faith in you.

As we would crest a hill I would lose site of those at my back but the sound of their bikes let me know they were ok and one by one the lights would emerge over the crest to say I’m still here. We may have been individual’s each with our own type of motorcycle and not able to verbally speak, but we traveled through the 80 miles as one, our engines our voices, united for our military troops.

Thank you Paul, Bill and all the American Legion Riders from Norwich!!

Fueling Up for big dayNo flag stand availablePaulLook how much I have grown in a year!
Fueling up for a very big day.No flag stand available, I am proud to hold it.Paul Russo sharing his wisdom.Look how much I have grown in a year. Not much longer and I will be riding one myself.
Line them up to show support.Rolling in and lined up.Rolling out to hit Two more
Line them up to show support.More rolling in and lined up.Rolling out to hit the 80 mile ride.Two more showing their support of our troops.
 Leaving VA HospitalVeterans thanking veteransIn FormationShowing our support
Coming into the local VA home to visit veterans of past wars. Veterans thanking veteransIn formation, riding as one.If only the troops could see the support from Norwich and beyond.
Heading To Next StopBarn and BikesAround the curvesBikes in Mirror
 Heading out to our next stopBarns and bikes along a nice route.Around the curves.Look in the mirror and see those that have your back.

Marilyn and her Red Hatters

Marilyn and her Red Hatters

CORDIALLY INVITE YOU

TO OUR ANNUAL LUNCHEON AND FUNDRAISER

ON APRIL 18, 2007 AT 12 NOON

AT THE HOME OF

Erhla and Dan

For the benefit of our American Wounded Soldiers

Red Hatters
Red Hatters

Red Hatters Erhla Cantor Hostess
Red Hatters Erhla Cantor Hostess

Erhla and husband Dan host the gourmet luncheon fundraiser at their home.


Red Hatters Marilyn at the Mic
Red Hatters Marilyn at the Mic

Marilyn at the mic. What a delightful day!!


Red Hatters Elinor Dickman
Red Hatters Elinor Dickman

Elinor Dickman receives gift of roses after playing a piano concert.

Spaghetti Dinner

American Legion Auxiliary SupportsAmerican Legion Auxiliary SupportsAmerican Legion Auxiliary SupportsAnn dishes up more dishes than one person can carryNot possible without our great supportNot possible without our great serversSome of our littlest supportersSome of our littlest supporters
SherrySherry, LHCP member, sells door prize tickets.Sherry selling raffle ticketsMore ticketsOur GREAT support for the night comes out to a round of applause!!!Our GREAT cooks, servers and host for the night comes out to a round of applause!!!LHCP President with our supportersLHCP president & LHCP treasurer with our supporters
The Briseno familyThe Jay Briseno familyBrian tells his story while a patient at LRMCBrian tells his story while a patient at LRMCOld Friends meet again.Brian tells group what meeting Karen at LRMC meant to him.Brian thanks Karen“She looked past our injuries and made us feel human again”
 Brian thanks Karen for her support at LRMCNo words needed but they thanked each other for their service.Hugs are always goodHugs are always goodBrian Higgins and Joseph Briseno meetBrian Higgins and Joseph Briseno meet

Brian Higgins and Joseph Briseno hugBrian Higgins and Joseph Briseno hug.

Joseph ask Karen to read the group a poem he wrote about his son JayJoseph ask Karen to read the group a poem he wrote about his son Jay, who was injured in 2003.Share a moment of quietShare a moment of quiet as they grasp for composure during the reading.We are here to helpWe are here to helpBrian Higgins showing his story in LHCP newsletterBrian Higgins showing his story in LHCP newsletter to guest.
Brian Higgins and LHCP Secretary has good time!!Brian Higgins and LHCP Secretary has good time!!How many tickets would you LIKE!!How many tickets would you like?Bill buying tickets from SharonBill buying tickets from Sharon, LHCP treasurer

and the number isAnd the number is

Another raffle ticketAnother raffle ticketSharon with the Dust of Mission raffle bucketSharon with the Dust of Mission raffle bucketDust off Mission Flag WinnersDust off Mission Flag WinnersSharon and Joseph reads about Dust off Mission flagSharon and Joseph reads about Dust off Mission flag

Jerry Howard Dept Commander LHCP President and Kathy HowardJerry Howard Dept Commander LHCP President and Kathy

Karen sneaking a quiet minuteKaren sneaking a quiet minuteKat Higgins gives LHCP President hug for the support Brian Higgins received from LHCPKat Higgins gives LHCP President hug for the support Brian Higgins received from LHCPKat Higgins meeting LHCP secretaryKat Higgins meeting LHCP secretary
Lorton AL Commander Lorton ALA President with LHCP board membersLorton AL Commander Lorton ALA President with LHCP board membersMail Clerk takes the night offMail clerk takes the night off from mailing LHCP boxes.Rachel Sharon KarenRachel, Sharon and KarenKaren and Sherry No words needed We Done GoodKaren and Sherry, no words needed, “We Done Good”
Ray HarrigonRay HarrigonClowns of all kinds come out to supportClowns of all kinds come out to supportThom getting kiss after giving check to LHCPThom getting kiss after giving check to LHCPBrian and Karen GrimordBrian and Karen Grimord
Dance the nightDance the nightLHCP