Local riders rally for Special Olympians

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 9, 2005

After the Poker Run bike rally to aid the local Special Olympics (SO) program Saturday afternoon, Barry Smith, who’d driven in the 80-mile run around the area, won $200 in the event’s 50/50 raffle at the Rockin’ Cowboy in Franklin.

So he did what any decent rider would do – he gave it right back.

&uot;That’s the kind of thing to do with events like this,&uot; Smith said, eating lunch with his son Ethan, who’ll be one of the athletes to represent the area in the SO state games this weekend in Richmond. &uot;If you win, you donate it back to the charity. It’s a fun thing to do; we’re glad we had the turnout we did.&uot;

Email newsletter signup

Roughly 30 bikes were driven in the event, which spun throughout Franklin, Suffolk, Windsor and Gates County. About $530 was raised, going toward state games trip expenses. At each stop during the trip, participants were given a playing card, which added up to a full poker hand when they got back to Franklin. The highest hand holder got a prize.

&uot;That’s the first time I’ve played poker in my life!&uot; said Hoyle Green, who piloted his Road King through the event. &uot;I ride any chance I get. I met a lot of new people today. The riding was very controlled, and the noise of all those bikes was just amazing.&uot;