High nineties mercury and a heat index that made it feel like 110 degrees did not deter area Harley bikers from turning out for a Poker Run to support an area non-profit that assists troubled youths.

More than a dozen bikers joined DeSoto County Ghostbusters at Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson in Southaven to get their hand of cards for the “Ride for a Cause Poker Run.”

Each rider starts with three playing cards and gathers additional cards by riding to three stops. This year’s stops included Crossroads Seafood in Hernando, 10th Inning Sports Bar & Grill in Southaven, and Mississippi Ale House in Olive Branch. 

Kathryn Hall of Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson said the local dealership is very involved in the community and always supportive of Poker Runs.

“Bikers as a community are very generous,” Hall said. “And every time we do one of these, we grow our family of bikers and a community.”

Hall said this is the second Poker Run they have held this year at Southern Thunder. The first one was on June 19 and raised about $9,000 for Le Bonheur. About 45 riders participated in that run. The money raised from this Poker Run benefits Palmer Home For Children and was organized by DeSoto County Ghostbusters.

Hall said she is very passionate about fundraisers like this one that support area non-profits because she came from Impact Missions, Inc., which used to operate DeSoto Sunrise Home for Girls in Hernando, a Christian based ministry that provided shelter to girls who suffered from psychological, emotional, or sexual abuse.

“We got our Christmas presents from here,” Hall said. “So when I reach out to the community, I know what it is like to give back to the community and to help people.”

Robb “Spanish” English, executive director of the local “Vets Helping Vets” chapter,” a combat veterans motorcycle association, said Poker Runs are always a lot of fun for members and the money goes for a good cause.

“We do these to support the community and to support the kids out there,” English said. 

The club hosts its own annual Vet-tober Poker Run in October to raise money for veterans.

“We have a cookout at Southern Thunder and all our money goes to the vets,” English said.

Mississippi Chapter of the “Law Dogs,” a law enforcement motorcycle riding club, had ten male “patches” and one female “patch” participate in Saturday’s Poker Run.

“We’ve worked with Palmer Home before,” Thomas “Mr. Clean” Maness said. “We went down and tore a playground down for them a year ago. And we have presented them with a $1,000 check. So we enjoy coming out and riding for a good cause.”

The biker with the best poker hand of cards received a $100 gift certificate to Southern Thunder Harley-Davidson, while the worst hand got to take home a “Better Luck Next Time” tee shirt.

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