Giving Something Back – Part II

Last December, my friends and I embarked on a motorcycle poker run to raise money for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.  At the time we threw the event together, we hoped we’d learn from it and make things bigger and better for the next year.  Fast forward ten months to this Saturday afternoon and you’ll find yourself at the second annual Ride for a Cure Poker Run.

Yep.  That’s right.  What started out as a random idea to help a friend with the passing of his wife found itself in full bloom again today.  What was a small gathering of friends on motorcycles grew to a slightly larger collection of friends and strangers alike.  What started out as a modest fundraiser that drew $175 evolved into a ride that allowed us to raise over $600 for breast cancer research.

I am happy with the turnout we got for the poker run, and how nice and friendly all the riders were.  We had thirteen bikes and sixteen participants in the event, about twice as many as we did last year.  At first I was nervous and slightly intimidated by the very experienced riders who came out for the run.  But after warming up to Harley Road King I rented (much more comfortable for Leelee as a passenger) and reminding myself of the event’s purpose, I felt much better.

This year we partnered with Beef O’Brady’s Family Sports Pub. The company was founded in and remains headquartered in Tampa, and they were extremely supportive of our event.  Before I continue I need to thank the owners and staff of the four Beef’s locations that made up our route.  Temple Terrace (Chip Tubbs), Cross Creek (Les & Jodi Boyette) and Northdale (Tom McHale) were all hospitable and patient with our many participants.  Very special thanks to J.J. Massaro, Becky Fraser and the entire staff at the Brandon (The Original) Beef’s.  The event would not have been as successful without all their hard work.

Like last year, I did allow myself to think about all of the little things we could have done better.  But unlike last year, I allowed myself to enjoy the riding, the scenery and the sense of accomplishment as we wrapped up the event in just under 5 hours.  Not bad for 80 miles of riding, and not bad for someone with minimal experience in event planning.  I know there is so much more we can and will do for next year’s run, but for now I am going to enjoy how successful the day turned out.

It definitely was a great day.  Great weather, great food, great friends and, most importantly, a great cause.  And it was great to share it all with Leelee.  When someone you love and think is wonderful believes in you no matter what, it’s easy to be great

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