GREENVILLE – The Burn Dog Poker Run started in 2008 when a group of friends wanted to remember a friend, Louis “Burnie” Wimbley Jr., who passed away in a motorcycle accident, and to help his family provide a headstone for his grave. Since the first year was such a success, they continued to hold this event yearly with the proceeds going to local families.
This year the recipient of the proceeds is Desiree Anders, who was recently diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma cancer. Desiree was taken to Upper Valley Medical Center due to vomiting and an apparent stomach virus, but was transferred to Children’s Hospital and placed in the cancer ward after masses were discovered in Desiree’s chest and on her kidneys. Her mother, Starla Cates, was informed that the malignancies were spreading rapidly through her body, and dialysis and chemo treatments were started right away.
She was released from the hospital on Aug. 7 after the spinal tap showed that there were no cancer cells in her brain. She is currently home and receiving chemo treatments, although she has to make weekly trips back to Children’s. This family had their world turned upside down in a matter of days, but they are handling it well and already have community support. On the Prayers and Encouragement for Desiree Anders Facebook page, Starla reported “It’s crazy how our lives can change so fast, but I know God is going to use this and allow Desiree to be a walking testimony!”
Benjamin Hoying, the person behind the Burn Dog Poker Run, has worked closely with Melissa and Bobby Vore, owners of Hot Rod and Harleys, to grow this event in hopes this year will be the biggest yet. Hot Rods and Harleys will begin the benefit Sept. 12 with karaoke where you can pay $10 to make someone sing any song of your choosing. They will also be offering Jello shots, with all money going directly to the benefit.
The poker run will be held on Sept. 13 at Hot Rods and Harleys, with sign up from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. The first bike out will be at 1 p.m.
Melissa Vore, from Hot Rods and Harleys will be providing biscuits and gravy before the ride for donations. The event starts off with a 100 mile ride with stops at BW3’s in Troy, Cruizers in Russia, The Whistle Stop in Ansonia, Sportzters in Greenville, and BG’s in Northstar. Once back to Hot Rod’s and Harley’s it’s more of a family event with door prizes, a 50/50 drawing, raffle/auction, and bike games. Bike games include loudest pipes competition, burnout contest with one-of-a-kind awards, tandem slalom, slow drags, and team slalom. While the games are going on you can visit the Greenville Boosters to sign up to win a Corvette, or get your bike pin striped by J.P. Creations.
The community has pulled together to get this event going this year with donations from local businesses, monetary contributions, and it has even drawn attention from a custom jacket designer, Sheldon Williamson of Neo Lux, who has created a jacket just for Desiree as well as one to be raffled off.
If you wish to contribute to this event, you can do so by donating door prizes, contacting Ben Hoying at 417-9464, or by dropping off a donation at Chase bank, Desiree Irene Anders fund.