The Fourth Annual Memorial Fund Poker Ride isn’t until late April, but the 200 raffle tickets being sold for $100 each on a chance to win a 2012 Polaris Ranger 800 XP side-by-side are going fast. For details, call (928) 978-1254 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by Max Foster.
With a healthy dose of luck and a $100 bill, it’s possible to own a 2012 Polaris Ranger 800 XP side-by-side valued at about $14,000.
First, take the $100 and purchase a Lorraine Cline Memorial Fund raffle ticket that features the Ranger as a prize.
Then await the results of the raffle drawing which will be held April 27 at the Butcher Hook in Tonto Basin. Only 200 raffle tickets will be sold.
The following day, April 28, the lucky new owner of the OHV can enter the Fourth Annual Memorial Fund Poker Ride that begins at the O-Bar-C Ranch in Tonto Basin and continues along old Jeep and mining trails in some of the county’s most scenic high desert vistas.
While the ride is a celebratory and festive outing designed to tickle the fancy of most all ATV owners, its real purpose is to benefit the fight against cancer.
Laci Sopeland, the granddaughter of Lorraine Cline who died four years ago of lung caner, organized the benefit rides in 2008 to earn money which will be donated to help pay expenses to local people waging war against the dreaded disease.
Sopeland says a portion of the money will help fund a type of free wellness clinic where Gila County residents can receive health care and check-ups.
She says the clinic is a big-time goal of hers because her grandmother’s cancer was not diagnosed until very late in the disease’s progression and had she known about it earlier, chances for survival would have been much better.
“She died only three months after it was diagnosed,” said Sopeland.
Registration is at 9 a.m. and the ride begins one hour later. Poker cards are available at $20 per hand and prizes will be paid for first, second and third best hands.
Last year, Shannon Hounshell of Payson won a first-place $300 payout and donated $100 back to the fund.
Jeremy Wilson, Globe, pocketed a $200 second-place payout and also donated $100.
Denise Bishop of Phoenix took a $100 third-place prize and gave the entire sum back to the fund.
Some route changes
The route has undergone some changes since last year, but remains about 40-plus miles and is expected to take most of the day because there will be several stops along the way to receive playing cards to make up each entrant’s poker hand. A stop will also be made where riders can enjoy a picnic lunch they pack and bring along.
One of the most fascinating stops is the now abandoned Copper Mountain mining site.
The route also passes through the Buzzard Roost Ranch just off FR 416.
In addition to the ride, there will be a benefit dinner and dance beginning at 6 p.m., April 27, the day prior to the ride, at the Butcher Hook in Tonto Basin.
During the dinner dance, the winning raffle ticket will be drawn.
“That way the winner can use the Ranger on the ride the next morning,” said Sopeland who is praising Four Seasons Motorsports for their cooperation in securing the Ranger as a raffle prize.
For those who want to stay the night in Tonto Basin, Desert Lakes Resort co-owner Deb Roden can help out. She can be reached at (928) 970-0304.
For those unfamiliar with poker rides, they are an organized event where participants, usually using motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, boats or horses, must visit five to seven checkpoints, drawing a playing card at each one. The object is to have the best poker hand at the end of the run.
For more information, call (928) 978-1254 or e-mail obarc email@example.com.