Poker Ride In Virginia



Dozens of motorcycles were lined up at Dale City American Legion Post 1503 on July 29, as eager riders prepared to take part in a charity poker ride to support the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project.

“If only the troops could see that all of these guys have their backs,” said LHCP president Karen Grimord as she looked over the row of gleaming Harleys.

LHCP is a non-profit organization that provides comfort and relief items free of charge to military personnel who become sick, injured or wounded as a result of their service in Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. Donated items are distributed to military patients at Landstuhl Hospital, the largest American military hospital outside the United States.

“My son was born at Landstuhl,” said Julie Tichonhuk of Dumfries as she signed up for the ride.

The event included a variation of five-card stud poker and led bikers on a more than 120-mile journey through Dale City, Woodbridge, Manassas and finally Stafford, where they finished at American Legion Post 290.

“Somebody has to support them,” said Joe Jablonski, a Marine Corps veteran from Gainesville who made the ride.

Riders had to pay a $20 entry fee to play poker. They each received a spreadsheet that contained all card numbers and suits at the beginning of the ride. Participants made five stops along the route, where they drew cards. Those with the highest and lowest hands won a cash prize at the end.

Army veteran Jon Banks of Fairfax said he debated on whether or not to attend church or participate in the ride. After praying about it, he opted to hop on his Harley.

“It’s for the troops,” he said. “I just got the sensation that if I’m doing something good for somebody, it’s as good as going to church.”

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