The First SOMC Hospice Poker Run, a motorcycle ride to benefit the Southern Ohio Medical Center Hospice, will be held May 3 at the hospital’s East Campus.
The ride is in memory of Ricky Bryan, an SOMC Hospice patient and avid motorcycling enthusiast who passed away in March. It also will honor all bike riders who have been hospice patients.
Bryan began planning the ride before his death because he wanted to give back to hospice, according to Loren Hardin, a social worker with hospice. Hospice often helps families of patients and had purchased Christmas gifts for Bryan’s grandchildren.
“It touched Ricky so much,” Hardin added. “He said, ‘I want to pay you back for what you’ve done for us.’ That’s how it all started.”
Registration begins at 9 a.m. and the ride will leave from the parking lot on SOMC’s East Campus at 11 a.m. Riders will be led by Bryan’s 1995 Harley-Davidson Sportster. The bike will be put on a trailer and Bryan’s riding boots will be placed backwards on the motorcycle’s foot pegs in memory of him. May 3 would have been Bryan’s 53rd birthday.
Cost to participate is $15 for a single rider or $20 for two people on one bike. The route is approximately 90 miles with two stops along the way.
Included in the registration fee is a late lunch of hamburgers and hot dogs donated by Life Ambulance. The Don’s of Portsmouth will perform from 1:30 to 3 p.m. The community is invited to stop by and enjoy the music. Those not riding may purchase lunch for a $5 donation to hospice. There also will be a 50/50 drawing with all proceeds to hospice.
All cards will be drawn prior to the ride. When the ride returns, participants will have the option of purchasing three additional cards for $1 each. Winner of the best hand will receive a one-night stay at the lodge at Shawnee State Park. There also will be other prizes awarded. Ride t-shirts will be available for sale.
Anyone wishing to pre-register for the ride may stop by the SOMC Hospice office, 2201 25th St., Portsmouth, and pick up a registration form or click here to download one. More information is available by calling hospice at (740) 356-2567 or (800) 779-7902. The ride will proceed rain or shine.