A record 16 quads of all brands, makes, sizes and configurations turned out for one of Pine and Strawberry’s most popular charity events of the year — the Justice McNeeley Foundation Poker Run.
Contested Sept. 28 on old logging trails and paths around Pine, the event drew many first-timers.
“We had a lot of new faces, which was awesome,” said Justice McNeeley Foundation spokesperson Katie Parks. “We had a wonderful turnout.”
Most importantly, the ride raised over $11,000, which will be used to help pay medical expenses of needy children.
At the conclusion of the run, in which riders were dealt playing cards at five different stops, Eli McDade took honors for having the best hand and Craig Ramsey was left holding the worst hand.
Jim Jones and Forrest Miller won the horseshoe tournament that drew a field of six teams.
In the Texas Hold ’Em tournament, Ronnie Villa was first and Donna Merkley second.
Dan Kohl won a fishing boat in the raffle.
The Justice McNeeley Foundation was established in 2004 to earn the $8,500 needed to buy Justice, then an engaging, witty 5-year-old who suffered from spinal muscular atrophy, a motorized wheelchair called a Go-Bot.
The event was an overwhelming success, Justice got his Go-Bot and organizers were so happy with the results they decided to continue the effort, forming the foundation and adopting a motto of “Help Us Help a Child”.
Since the inception of the benefit, the fund has doled out more than $45,000 to help pay the medical expenses of needy Rim Country children.
“Dental, hearing, glasses, orthotics — anything they need, we try to provide,” said JMF fund chairman Chuck Collins.
Justice is Parks’ son and a student at Pine-Strawberry School.