By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: September 2012
The Rogers County United Way Kickoff committee (L to R): Donna Ross (United Way), Mark Ogle (Red Cross), Mandi Bruner (J & J Pharmacy and Gifts), Kim Timmermann (Amedysis), Mike Gatts (VFW Post Senior Commander), Delayna Trease (Summit Physical Therapy), Matt Streeter (RCB Bank), and Ryan Bradley (RSU). (Not pictured: Jared Trease, bike owner.)
September 13-15, the Rogers County United Way will fire up its engine for the coming year with its annual United Way Kickoff, featuring a three-tiered event: Bikes and Blues Kickoff, the Harold “Skeet” Smith Memorial Golf Outing, and the Bikes and Blues Motorcycle Poker Run. While the golf portion of the kickoff has become a Claremore tradition over the last several years, the Thursday night kickoff event at Ne-Mar Center is in its third year, and this will be the first year for the Poker Run.
Matt Streeter of RCB Bank and Delayna Trease of Summit Physical Therapy are this year’s co-drive chairpersons and are heading up the Bikes and Blues Kickoff and Poker Run. “We were looking for unique, alternative routes to help raise money for the United Way,” says Delayna, “ones that would include a broader range of interests and more people in Rogers County.” To accomplish this, the Fundraiser Drive will rev the motor for the weekend’s events with Bikes and Blues at Ne-Mar Center in Claremore on Thursday night, September 13, at 7:30 p.m. Motorcycle owners are invited to come and park their prized ride for attendees to admire as local award-winning blues band Sunday Moan entertains the mingling crowd. In honor of this event, various Ne-Mar businesses have created baskets to be raffled off during the evening. Ne-Mar area restaurants have also agreed to extend their hours to accommodate the event and to donate a portion of the proceeds to the United Way effort.
Rogers County United Way Executive Director Donna Ross wants to let everyone know this is a free, family event. “We want everyone to bring their lawn chairs, to relax and have fun,” she says. “We will have plenty of things for kids also, like balloon creations, face painting, and tie-dye shirts.”
The motor for this annual kickoff will cruise right along at the Harold “Skeet” Smith Golf Outing on Friday at 9 a.m. at Heritage Hills Golf Course west of Claremore. Registration is open for 100 participants, and participation includes a round of golf with golf cart, lunch, refreshments on the course, prizes, and of course, an opportunity to help the Rogers County United Way. An even greater opportunity to help comes for those who would sponsor golf holes. “Hole sponsors form a huge part of our campaign,” Donna points out. “Even those unable to play in the event can help the fundraising effort by sponsoring a hole.” For more information on the golf tournament and registration, call the Rogers County United Way office at (918) 343-1165.
On Saturday, the United Way Kickoff will push its pedal to full throttle with the Bikes and Blues Poker Run. Registration for this event starts at 10:30 a.m. at the Claremore VFW, where participants purchase their hand for $20 and then proceed through the run, with first bike out at 11:30, last bike out at noon, and all bikes back by 5 p.m. (Cars and classic cars are also welcome.) Cards will be picked up at The Ice House in Inola, The Blue Whale (bonus stop) in Catoosa, Hilltop Bar in Chelsea, the Dam Saloon in Oologah, Greybeard’s (bonus stop) in Collinsville and then back at the Claremore VFW for the wrap up, where great food will be available for $5, music will be provided by Ace in the Hole, raffle winners for the day will be announced, and the winning Poker Run hand will receive $500.
Matt Streeter reports that even with last year’s bad weather, the kickoff at Ne-Mar Center was successful, and he hopes this year’s inaugural Bikes and Blues event will be even more well received. “It is exciting to see more participation throughout Rogers County,” he says. “We have a half million dollar goal this year – we hope the Bikes and Blues Kickoff and Poker Run help us to reach that.”
For more information on these events and for a list of sponsors, visit www.rcuw.org.