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First poker run raises over $4,500; deemed a roaring success
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Tess Baumfalk, Colby, and her passenger, Beau, gear up for the recent Sunflower Diversified Services Ride for Independence Poker Run. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

               The community came together to raise more than $4,500 at the first-ever Ride for Independence Poker Run. Sunflower Diversified Services sponsored the event, which will become an annual fundraiser for the non-profit agency.

            Sunflower serves infants, toddlers and adults with developmental disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties.

            “Participants and volunteers told me they had a great time,” said Tammie Caley, Sunflower’s chief financial officer and poker run organizer. “The excitement was contagious.

            “Everyone especially liked the activities we offered to earn playing cards for the poker hands,” she added. “We had one event at each of the five stops on the poker run.”

            Those events were shooting a basketball, ring toss, beanbag toss, putting a golf ball and throwing darts.

            “Most important is the money and awareness we raised for the people who count on Sunflower for residential and employment services,” Caley said. “All proceeds will directly support independent living, while helping pay for services and adaptive equipment not covered by tax revenues.”

The participants, other individuals and businesses that donated money and prizes are truly appreciated, she added.

“It was so gratifying to see the community rally around this new event,” Caley continued. “We have a great team that is already working to make next year’s Ride for Independence even better.”

Jon Prescott replaced his Sunflower executive-director hat with a motorcycle helmet and enjoyed the day with other riders.

“What a great time we had. The breakfast was great, the weather was perfect and it was a blast playing the games to earn our poker hands,” Prescott said. “The barbecue at the end of the day was delicious and the route was well planned out.

“Tammie and her team of more than 30 volunteers did an amazing job of organizing and executing the event for more than 70 bikes,” he continued. “I really appreciate our sponsors and the business owners at each of our stops along the route. I can’t wait for next year’s event.”

Sunflower, a non-profit agency, is in its 51styear of serving families in central Kansas.