Poker run to benefit War Amps
© Eric Sparling – Amherst Daily News
Defenders Chapter 11 president Mike Johnson, foreground, and member Joel MacPhee, were in Amherst Tuesday to promote the club’s poker run, being held Saturday. Hands for the ride are $10 apiece.
AMHERST – A horde of bikers will converge Saturday on downtown Amherst, starting point of the Amherst Defenders Chapter 11 poker run to the Wentworth Valley Inn.
But never fear, townsfolk, these bikers have good intentions and a law-abiding pedigree. The run will benefit the War Amps ‘Champs’ program, helping child amputees.
“It’s kids, and all of us have children,” said Mike Johnson, chapter president and a retired RCMP officer.
The Defenders are united by their love of motorcycling but also share a professional background in the military, police or coast guard (more than half of a chapter’s membership must meet that criteria). Champs is supported nationally by the Defenders Motorcycle Club, which has chapters across the country, as well as in the United States.
Registration for the run is between 10 a.m. and noon. The ride ends at the Wentworth Valley Inn late in the afternoon.
Defender Joel MacPhee, retired RCMP, was with Johnson when they dropped by the newspaper office. He said the turnout for a poker run is very weather dependent.
Johnson thought they had 68 riders last year. He’s hoping they break 100 Saturday. He said they expect to donate about $2,000 in 2013 to Champs.
The joy of riding in a club is like any other activity that brings like-minded people together, according to the president. It’s about camaraderie.
The event will feature a silent auction, pig roast and barbecue, and prizes for the best and worst poker hands, and for the person who travels the farthest to participate. The motorcyclists travel in a single band of riders for the entire run.
CLARIFICATION: Registration for the ride is at the Old Warehouse Cafe on Havelock Street.