By Barbara Harrington
ABERDEEN – The first “2 Wheels 4 Paws” Poker Run was held on Saturday, May 16, to benefit the Aberdeen Animal Shelter.
Plans are to make it an annual event, growing bigger and better each year. Bikers left from the parking lot next to Food Giant in Aberdeen at noon on Saturday. More than 30 motorcycle riders from Monroe County, plus Columbus, Starkville and West Point took part in the event. An 80-mile ride was planned, but within an hour of starting, the rains came.
Jim Jessup, one of the organizers, said only five bikers dropped out because of the rain.
Winning the Run, with the best poker hand was Aaron Fontenot, who received 25 percent of the race registration fee. Registration was $20 per bike and $680 was taken in. Donations were also made by sponsors, all of which went to the shelter. A total of $1,225 was raised for the shelter.
Astrid Peterson with the Aberdeen Animal Shelter said the money would be used for vaccines and the health care of the animals at the shelter. She said this is much needed, especially this year when the shelter is seeing so many more abandoned animals than in the past.
“These bikers are a good group of guys,” Jessup said. “We do a lot of things outside our community, so we decided to do something in our community.”
Cards were to be dealt at stops along the ride, with the final draw back at the parking lot. When the bikers arrived back in Aberdeen, they were treated with meals at Sonic, one of the ride’s supporters.
With the level of interest in Saturday’s Run, Jessup expects it to be even better next year.