The MS Society of Canada is teaming up with the Just Kruzin’ Specialty Car Club and the Bordertown Harley Owners Group on Aug. 15 to bring the MS Poker Rally fundraiser to the Lakeland region for the third consecutive year.
“This is a one-day event that provides anyone in the community who has a vehicle or a motorbike to come out, spend a gorgeous day riding through some of the most scenic parts of our region, all in support of the fight against MS,” said MS Society Lakeland Regional Director Johanna Green.
The MS Poker Rally takes participants through various cities across the Lakeland region, with checkpoints along the way. At each stop, participants draw a playing card from a deck until they’ve assembled a full poker hand.
The person with the strongest hand at the end of the day will win 10 per cent of the registration proceeds. Five per cent of the registration proceeds will then go to the ghost winner, which can be anyone who isn’t the main driver. For those that leave their luck at home, the MS Society has a “worst hand” prize planned as well.
After drawing 150 participants in its inaugural year, the MS Poker Rally suffered a slight dip in attendance last year. Green says that at minimum, she’d like this year’s event get back to its 2013 numbers, but is hoping for an even greater spike.
“We would love to have around 200 people out for this event so that we can continue to grow it, and obviously raise more funds,” she said.
Once prizes are handed out, the MS Society hopes to raise around $5,000. Last year’s fundraiser reached the $4,000 mark, which received assistance from the prize winners, who donated their winnings back.
Proceeds from the poker rally support the MS Society’s Lloydminster chapter and St. Paul chapter, which supports those affected by MS in Cold Lake, Bonnyville, St. Paul and other nearby areas.
“As much as (this event) is a coming together of the car and the bike clubs, it’s a coming together of MS offices to support them and to support the families affected by MS across our region,” said Green. “We split the funds and they support people living with MS across our region.”
The MS Poker Rally also serves as a prelude to the A&W Kruzin’ to End MS event, which takes place on Aug. 27, and sees the MS Society partner with Just Kruzin’ and A&W. Intentionally, most of the checkpoints along the poker rally route are at A&W restaurants.
Registration for the Aug. 15 MS Poker Rally costs $25 for main entrants, which refers to the primary drivers. Ghost hand entries cost $15 per person. Registration will take place from 8 to 10:30 a.m. on the Saturday of the event and riders can sign up and start at either the Lloydminster Cornerstone A&W on the west side of town or the A&W in Bonnyville.
Further inquiries, including pre-registration, may be directed towards the MS Society’s Lloydminster office at 780-871-0513.