Rides, Rallies and Events Recap

6th Annual Burton Center Poker Run – Greenwood, South Carolina

Written by  July 1, 2014

On July 7, 2014, the riders of Greenwood County and the riders from the surrounding counties met at the Burton Center just off of Highway 221& 72. The purpose of the poker run was to help provide funding to purchase wheelchairs and accessible equipment for people with disabilities and special needs (autism, intellectual disabilities, head injuries, spinal cord injuries and related disabilities) at the Burton Center. The Burton Center serves over 1,500 people, with a staff of 450 personnel in Abbeville, Edgefield, Greenwood, Lexington, McCormick and Saluda counties. The staff has a saying “Wheels for Wheels,” which to me meant that motorcycle wheels are turning to help to replace wheelchair wheels.

Shortly before 9 a.m., you could hear the rumble of motorcycles in the distance, and they headed for the staging area. Registration was setup in front of the Burton Center building. The fee to register for the ride was $20 for the first hand and $10 for the second hand. One extra card hand could be purchased for only $2. The winner with the best hand would win $1,000, and the biker with the worst hand would receive $250. A ride T-shirt was also available for only $10. Registration ended at 11 a.m., and some of the riders who came by themselves waited to join up with other riders or groups of motorcyclists. The ride took the motorcyclists through Greenwood, Edgefield, and Saluda counties. The riders drew one card before leaving the Burton Center.

The American Legion Post 20 on Calhoun Ave was the ending destination for all the riders. When you walked into the front door of the American Legion Building in Greenwood, you drew your last card and received a door prize ticket. By 3 p.m., the last motorcyclist was required to turn in their hands to the judge. After the judge looked at all the hands he announced who the best and worst hand.

When I walked into the legion hall I heard music coming from the other end of the room. The NiteKrawlerz Band provided the entertainment from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The name and music kind of threw me off. Even more so, when I saw the band members up on stage, they looked like a cross between a country music band, a jug band, and a hard rock band. All I can say is they played some great music!

Fat Boys BBQ provided the BBQ for the riders on Saturday afternoon, which is owned by Frank and Kelly Brooks of Ware Shoals, South Carolina. They had help from their two sons Zack and Noah Brooks. It would be nice if they had a restaurant that you could go to and eat. Talking to Frank later over the phone, I found out they only do catering. This was some of the best BBQ I’ve eaten in a long time. You could eat under a tent that was setup under the trees; however, the music and air condition lured me inside.

This was the first time in many years that I haven’t bided on or bought a ticket to win a door prize. When the auction started at 4 p.m., I was beginning to wish I had bid on at least one of the ice chests. The ice chest that looked the best to me was the cooler with the Harley-Davidson shield on the front. The other cooler had the South Carolina state seal on the front. I think both were homemade, but both ice chests looked like they were professional made. The businesses of Greenwood County donated the auction items that included cleaning supplies for your bike to Harley shirts and a few toys.

Debbie Davis was the run coordinator this year, and she had the help of Angie Brown, who helped put together a wonderful ride. They had great door prizes and auction items, which drew over 100 riders who came to participate on this dry and sunny day. Everyone had the chance to hear some awesome music and eat some great BBQ. I know you hear this from me every time I write an article, but what else can I say about the staff at Burton Center. They love their work and put in unpaid overtime raising money to see that the equipment is on-hand when needed. The Burton Center serves residences of 28 residential homes in 6 counties in South Carolina. They can’t do it alone, and they the need the help of the people and the businesses in the counties they serve. Next year, when June rolls around, please come out to ride and give your support.