Nearly 100 motorcycles rolled through Pembroke on Sept. 8 to make their third stop during the inaugural “Vets Helping Vets” Poker Run hosted by the Savannah Chapter of Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.
The riders were welcomed by Pembroke Mayor Mary Warnell, Downtown Development Authority Director Sharroll Fanslau and others under the shade of oak trees in Dubois Square.
The poker run was held to benefit the veteran’s program at Hospice Savannah, according to Matt Singleton, chapter secretary.
“We were looking around Savannah for a veterans program to help out with and found Hospice Savannah has a veterans program,” Singleton said. “It was a good program to help out with to benefit the veterans that are close to their time.”
Will Burkle, chapter commander, said with the participation in the poker run and proceeds from a raffle and other fundraisers, the group hoped to donate between $1,200 and $1,300 to Hospice Savannah. He was pleased with the turnout.
“It’s great, especially for a first,” he said. “We expected about 50 and we’re very glad to see a good number — we’re definitely happy.
Burkle added the group decided to make stops in towns that had military or veteran-related memorials.
“The 9/11 memorial here in Pembroke is a military-related memorial,” he said.
Other stops on the poker run included the start and finish point, the VFW Post 660 on Ogeechee Road, the Veterans Memorial Park in Rincon and Veterans Park of Effingham County.
The Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association is a nonprofit organization and all proceeds from the poker run will benefit the Hospice veterans program.
In addition to hosting the poker run, many of the chapter members have now signed up to be a volunteer with the Hospice Savannah veterans program, Singleton said.
“Most veterans will open up to other vets,” he said. “We just want to get their stories and make sure they’re remembered.”
Singleton said the people at Hospice Savannah were very glad the organization got involved.
“They were hugely supportive and they are great people to work with,” he said. “They were very glad we’re helping out and we’re glad to be a part of it.”
For more information about the Savannah Chapter of the CVMA, visit the group’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/cvma.ga.25.2.