Charity Run Earns $3,000 For Blind Boy

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The parents of 2-year-old Laytin Matthews are $3,000 closer to buying their blind son a specialized walker that will help him learn how to walk.

The money represents the proceeds from the inaugural Motorcycle Charity Poker Run held June 4 in Payson, Pine and on Rim Country highways.

The run was sponsored by the Justice McNeeley Foundation, which has helped local youth in need since it was founded in 2004 to buy a specialized “Go-Bot” motorized wheelchair for Justice, then-5 years old, who suffers from muscular atrophy.

The main fund-raiser for the group has been an annual quad and ATV poker run held each fall near Pine.

In raising money for Matthews, however, McNeeley Foundation officer Katie Parks decided to try a motorcycle run saying she “wanted to do something a little different.”

The turnout of 40 riders was not as large as Parks hoped for, but she believes, “we will do better next year.”

The ride kicked off at 9 a.m. at the Spur in Star Valley and continued with stops at Sidewinders, Happy Jack Lodge and Mormon Lake Lodge before ending at Sportsman Chalet in Strawberry.

At each stop the riders received a poker card knowing the best draw poker hand would be the winner of the $100 prize.

To receive the cards, riders paid a $15 per hand fee.

The winning hand turned out to be a straight and the lucky rider donated the prize money back to the foundation.

Bryan Higgens and his three-piece band provided free musical entertainment at the post race celebration held at the Chalet.

Following the run, Parks issued thanks to all the sponsors who contributed and especially to the Spur and Chalet for hosting the entourage.

“Both were fantastic,” she said.

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