Poker and bikes, for the cause
Jenna’s Ride Motorcycle Poker Run has something for everyone
By Erica Febre firstname.lastname@example.org
It was five years ago that Terryann Bartlett, a fellow motorcycle rider, and others in the Londonderry community decided to ride for a good cause.
Her daughter, Jenna, has Down Syndrome and participates with the New Hampshire’s Special Olympics team.
There was also another child in the neighborhood, Ryan Conner, in the same situation as Jenna. Thus the Jenna’s Ride Motorcycle Poker Run was formed, in order to bring more money to the program, offering more opportunities to other children and adults like Jenna.
“We decided together to start a fundraiser, as our way to help out. I don’t know what kind of funding the program already had but we just decided to pitch in anyway. The support grew from there, through public awareness,” Bartlett said.
The Londonderry Lancers have put in tons of support over the years to Jenna’s Ride, Bartlett said, through helping with organizing, covering the check points along the route and just lending a hand where help is needed. A leadership program is promoted through the team and helping with the fundraiser is a way for teammates to get involved with the community.
“I can’t even say enough about the football team. They’ve been helping out since the beginning, so they’re aware of what needs to be done. They’ve just been amazing,” Bartlett said.
The New Hampshire Special Olympics offers programs all throughout the year for children and adults with special needs. It already features a basketball team and track and field available to them. A bowling league has just been established and Bartlett said they are looking to start a soccer league later this summer. The team also participates in skiing and swimming events.
“It really gives them a sense of accomplishment, a sense of pride, to participate in the Special Olympics,” Bartlett said.
This year Jenna’s Ride will be dedicated to the 101st Division 502 Brigade fighting in Iraq as well as the New Hampshire Special Olympics. This is the same unit where the two soldiers were recently kidnapped and later found dead. Jenna’s older brother, Scot Brown, serves with this unit as a specialist gunner. He describes the environment as a “triangle of death” to his mother, who said she has only spoken with him once since he left for Iraq.
Motorcycles of all types are permitted to participate, if they’re willing to support the cause.
Registration will be at the Londonderry High School at 9 a.m. Riders will then take the 80-mile route, ending at The Spyder Room on Lincoln Street in Manchester, which is hosting a cookout, bikini bike wash and music from The Bars.
The Bars have been involved with the fundraiser for several years. Bartlett describes them as “friends who support the cause.”
Poker hands will be dealt at The Spyder Room. Anyone who is not riding can participate by showing up at the Spyder Room while the riders make the journey. There will be raffle prizes and other items with all proceeds going to the cause. Local vendors, such as ManchVegas Choppers, will also be on hand to help drum up support.
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