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United Way poker run gets big draw

August 5, 2012
By CRAIG HOWELL - Managing editor ( , Weirton Daily Times

WEIRTON - Close to 70 riders set off from the Fairfield Inn and Suites Saturday afternoon to enjoy the scenery of the Ohio Valley and help raise money to benefit the Weirton United Way.

The ninth-annual poker run is among the yearly fundraisers for the Weirton United Way, and has been drawing bigger numbers each of the last few years, according to organizers.

This year, the goal for the event was to raise $6,500.

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"The importance of the poker run, and all of the United Way's events is the 15 agencies," event Chair Jeff Davis said.

The Weirton United Way works each year to raise money to benefit its member agencies, which include the American Red Cross - River Valley Chapter; Boys and Girls Club of Weirton; CHANGE, Inc.; Community Bread Basket; Dunbar Recreation Center; Girl Scouts - Black Diamond Council; Hancock County 4-H Foundation; Hancock County Sheltered Workshop; Hancock/Brooke/Ohio/Marshall Retired and Senior Volunteer Program; Healthways; Mary H. Weir Public Library; Ohio River Valley Council Boy Scouts of America; Salvation Army Weirton Corps; Weirton Christian Center and Weirton Medical Center Foundation.

"The poker run is just a small part of the fundraising, but it's a great day to get motorcyclists out, have a good day and help the United Way."

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Close to 70 riders prepare to take off on the ninth-annual Weirton United Way Poker Run Saturday afternoon. Riders would make stops in Lisbon, Ohio; Chester and Bavington, Pa. before returning to Weirton. -- Craig Howell

Participants left the Fairfield Inn and Suites at noon, traveling north to Chester and then west to Lisbon where they stopped at the Guilford Lake Grille. From there, they went back to Chester for a stop at the White Stallion before heading to Bavington, Pa. to the Mousetrap. The ride concluded at approximately 5 p.m. at the Blue Steel Grill in Weirton.

"It's about a 110-mile bike ride," Co-chair Rich Young said. "It's a beautiful day and a great turnout."

Sponsors and other contributors for Saturday's poker run included the Blue Steel Grill; First Choice America Community Federal Credit Union; Hancock County Savings Bank; Weirton Medical Center; Fairfield Inn and Suites; Valley Harley Davidson; Starvaggi Industries; Del. Randy Swartzmiller; Assure America; Robinson and Son Construction; White Stallion; the Hancock County Commission; Guilford Lake Grille; Jeff and Cindy Davis; the Mousetrap; Wine and Beverage Merchants of West Virginia; Weirton Valero; the Washington Wild Things; Newbrough Photo; Mario's; Lyndi's; Waterworld; "Danny" from Hedge Band; Marsh Pipe and Supply; Toronto Auto Parts; Bobby Pizzoferato; DJ Brandon; Ed Hayes and Wheels of Weirton; Recht Law Office; Convenient and Ron and Paula Haggerty; Nationwide Insurance and Mark and Randy Eckleberry.

(Howell can be contacted at, or followed via Twitter @CHowellWDT)

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