Multi-Community Diversified Services will host it’s fifth-annual Ride for Independence Poker Run Saturday.

Multi-Community Diversified Services will host it’s fifth-annual Ride for Independence Poker Run Saturday.
Riders can start at either Maggie Mae’s in Salina or Dan’s Cycle in Hesston. Registration starts at 8 a.m. Each route will cover more than 100 miles, including Hesston, Lindsborg and Hillsboro, and stop at MCDS in McPherson before ending at 2 p.m. in the Marquette City Park.
After the event, live music and barbecue food will be available for participants at the park.
Cost is $25 for a single rider and $40 for a rider with a passenger. Pre-registration can be done by visiting, but is not required. This cost will include a T-shirt.
At each stop, riders will throw a dart at a target, which will determine their cards. The rider with the best poker hand will be awarded $500, and $250 will be given to the rider with worst hand. Participants must be 18 or older to win the prizes.
All proceeds from the event will benefit MCDS, which supports individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities in the region.
Carla Stanfield, MCDS public relations coordinator, said the non-profit organization has had to get creative with fundraising in recent years. Last year, the organization could no longer hosts its biggest moneymaker, a raffle, due to legal issues. Last year was the first year that MCDS officials decided to seek event sponsorships locally and statewide, which resulted in the biggest poker run fundraising total to date.
“These folks turned around and supported us amazingly, and we couldn't be more thankful for it,” she said. “We hope to grow the event every year.”
In 2012, about 200 riders came out for the event.
“It’s really a beautiful ride,” Stanfield said. “I think a lot of folks who own motorcycles like to get out and ride, so we’re hoping for a beautiful day.
“And I think folks want to support a good cause. Sometimes our clients don’t get a lot of attention in the community, and we want folks to be aware they live where they live, they work where you work, they go to school where you go to school. It’s our responsibility to take care of them and know they’re here.”
This awareness is the highlight of the event for Stanfield.
“I think my favorite part of these events is when we have folks who don’t know who we are and walk away saying, ‘That was a really cool experience. I got to understand a different world,’ and that is what’s exciting for me.”
For more information on the event, call MCDS at 620-241-6693.

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