Eastern Oklahoma VA Health Care System
Ride for the Vets Fundraiser Raises More than $13,000 for Veteran Patients
Veterans service organizations, various groups, businesses and individual donors raised more than $13,000 for Veteran patients during the Ride for the Vets poker run Sept. 25.
More than 110 riders participated in the event which began at the Ernest Childers VA Outpatient Clinic in Tulsa with breakfast and the first bikes out at 9:00 am. Riders made stops at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post in Claremore, American Legion Post in Prior, Elks Lodge in Wagoner, and ended at the Creek Nation Casino in Muskogee with the last bike in at 2:00 pm.
The Creek Nation Casino hosted a buffet with a live band and $1,000 in prizes. There was also a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, door prizes, and a special auction for a U.S. flag flown in an U.S. Army helicopter in Iraq.
"This is the first time I have witnessed such a partnership of numerous organizations and businesses working together for a common cause of raising money for our Veterans," said Greg Sorenson, chief of Voluntary Services at the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center. "This is also the biggest fundraiser Voluntary Services has been the beneficiary of."
Sorenson credited the hard work of organizer Laurie Thomas and Voluntary Services Technical Career Field Intern Reggie Hardy.
"I wouldn't have maybe entertained the idea if we didn't have Reggie to help us," said Sorenson. "It takes a lot of time to plan, coordinate and implement a fundraiser – especially a poker run of this magnitude that crossed through 5 different communities."
Voluntary Services will use the money to buy comfort items such as toiletries, socks, warm clothes, other veteran's needs and for a Valentines for Veterans Concert in Muskogee in February.