Poker run raises money for students

Rain showers and gray skies didn’t dampen the spirits of the participants for the annual Mike Hart Memorial Poker Run in Barbour County Saturday morning.

With 125 bikes and 210 riders, attendance was a little down from previous years, but organizers said it was still a good turnout.

Andy Bulatko, a participant and local sponsor for the past several years, said, “I support this because even though I didn’t know Mikey well, it’s for a good cause in memory of him. It’s also something fun to do and we had a good time.”

“Mikey had a thirst for knowledge and he loved passing it on,” said Judy Weese.

“He enjoyed working with the public and took a lot of pride in fire service and EMS. Mikey left a lasting impression and we want to carry on his legacy.”

Since 2008, the annual event has raised money for various scholarships to students in the area.

Any volunteer with the fire department or MS services, or their child, can qualify for this scholarship. Also, anyone who is interested in pursuing a career in either one of these fields can apply.

Best hand went to Paul Golden, while the worst hand was dealt to Rick Hathaway. Courtney Bates and Debbie Hull tied for the unit number. The rider who traveled the longest distance was Kevin Bless, who came 156 miles from Cedar Grove.

Members of the Christian Motorcyle Association were present to just be an encouragement and to minister to others.

They attend rallies throughout the year and say, “We’re here if you need us.”

Mikey Hart had a passion for emergency services. He made a career out of putting out fires. Organizers believe there’s one fire with his name on it that will never be put out: the passion of passing on his knowledge to the next generation.

For scholarship information, call Weese at 304-823-2991.