The Relay for Life of Crawford County takes place June 1 from 6:00 pm until 6:00 am June 2 at Hood Park in Cuba, Missouri. However, the meetings, organizing, and fundraising go on for months before the actual event.
One such event was the Wallis Companies’ 4th Annual Poker run to benefit the American Cancer Society. The riders rumbled into Hood Park in Cuba between 8-10:00 am, where they were served breakfast by Deer Creek Church of Cuba, MO. The group donated the proceeds of the breakfast to the Wallis Companies team total. The group rolled out of Hood Park at 10:30 with 121 bikes and 174 individuals taking part for the biggest turnout ever.
A Poker run involves a pre-arranged route where each rider must stop and pick up a poker chip. Featured stops included the following:
*Salem Mobil where Dean Garber served free hot dogs and visited with the participants. *St. James On the Run, offered riders premium gasoline for the price of unleaded and a free 20 oz coffee or fountain soda. *The Cuba On the Run matched this offer at their store as well.
*The long trail of motorcycles then headed north towards Belle, and cut over to Owensivlle where they stopped a Art’s Sports & Liquor, owned by Mick Doerr, a Mobil dealer.
*The final destination of the day was Fanning US 66 Outpost General Store, the home of the Guinness World’s Largest Rocking Chair.
After riding approximately 138 miles and stopping at all the locations, riders traveled back to Hood Park for an afternoon that included a bike show, bike games, and a BBQ ham dinner by Kate’s Kitchen. The poker chips were turned in to draw a 5-card poker hand and receive a door prize ticket. The prizes were #1-a $1400 dollar custom bike paint job by Farris Customs, #2-an iPad donated by Wallis Companies, and #3-2 tickets with prime seats for a St. Louis Cardinals game donated by Bittick Construction.
Terry Guffey, brother of Bill Guffey who each year comes from Florida to participate, won the 1st prize paint job, but since he had no way to get his bike back to Missouri for the paint job, he took the 2nd place iPad and allowed 2nd place winner Greg Smotherman to have the paint job. The 3rd place prize went to Ronnie Pyatt. Many local businesses donated hundreds of dollars worth of door prizes for the event as well. A 50-50 drawing and t-shirt sales provided even more funds for the American Cancer Society and the Relay for Life making Wallis Companies team the premier fundraiser for the event on June 1-2. After paying expenses, the Poker Run raised $4560. Wallis Companies has raised other funds for the Relay to contribute to their total and keep them the fundraising front runner.
On June 1-2, the community gathers at Hood Park in Cuba for more fund raising and events. There will be an opening ceremony, a survivors lap, a caregivers lap, and then all the teams are invited to walk together during the opening lap. A Luminara Ceremony is held at night where luminaria are lit to honor and memorialize those who have fought cancer. During the evening members of the walking teams circle the track. Booths of food and activities ring the track, and the Tri-C organization provides a Survivors Dinner.
But the event started months before with tireless volunteers who organized, fundraised, and made it a goal to fight back against cancer. Show up to lend your support for this battle that continues each day as it touches the lives of those with cancer.
Wallis Companies honors its founder Bill Wallis and continues to fight back…
This Cuba Free Press article offers more info on the Relay for Life and contact information.