Chris Bowen organized the annual Poker Run to support Calvert Hospice for 14 years. This year, due to cancer treatment, he was not going to be able to plan the event. Sadly, Chris passed away on August 1. Sandy Littleford and Judy Clark had already decided to organize the Poker Run this year, but when Chris passed away they stepped forward and decided to organize a Memory Ride in his honor and set themselves a goal of raising $15,000 to recognize what would have been the 15th annual Poker Run. They were stunned at the generosity of so many within the community. Before the event that was held on October 17, they had already raised over $5,000 in donations.
The Memory Ride started at Vera’s White Sands, and participants all lined up in a caravan in their vehicles. There were 82 motorcycles and approximately 40 cars in the caravan. Chris’s widow Dawn was in front of the line, leading everyone through the stops. They drove past Chris’s business, Captain Smith’s Seafood, where everyone revved their engines in his memory, then made stops at Sea Breeze and The Tavern before finishing the ride at Buckets Sports Bar for the after party and auction. 50/50 raffles were done at each stop and raised more than $700.
Items to create 90 gift baskets were donated by many people in the county. Three communities each donated a basket put together by their residents. One of those baskets raised $3,200! Sandy and Judy collected all the auction items and created the vast majority of the auction baskets. Lindsey Ricker was a huge help to them in getting items put together.
Chris’s brother Charles (known as Toots) sold t-shirts and raised $510 from sales. Grill Sergeant donated a roasted pig for the after party and auction. Sandy and Judy are so appreciative of the efforts of so many who made this special event possible. They are already planning for the Poker Run in Chris’s honor next year.
Calvert Hospice is so grateful for the amazing generosity of so many who made this event a success. Chris was a huge supporter of our organization, and his Poker Runs raised more than $100,000 in the 14 years that he organized them.
–Amanda Peterson, Calvert Hospice