Each year, Flying Pig proprietor, Patrick Gonzalve, organizes a Poker Run for charity. It’s my favorite kind of run… no cardio involved, and it’s for a good cause! This year he chose to support Placencia United & Strong and the community came out in HUGE numbers to participate. Much fun was had by all and the Run raised $1600 for the local charity. Here is an overview of how it all went down, who will benefit from the fundraiser, and how you can participate next year if you missed this one.
Poker Run, no running involved!
The Poker Run is really more of a Bar Crawl than a “run,” which might be the precise reason it is such a success. The premise is simple: participants blindly pull a single card at each of the five bars on the itinerary to build their “hand.” At the last stop you turn in your card if you think you have a chance of winning the best hand (we did not because we pulled utter garbage cards). Cost was $35bz to participate (and you had the option of adding a commemorative tee-shirt) and you got five tickets to redeem for a drink at each stop. The player with the best hand at the end of the run won lunch for 2 at Inky’s and the proceeds from the event were donated to Placencia United & Strong.
We started at The Flying Pig of course. Everyone assembled here to get their voucher, pull their first card, and have their first drink (because you can’t drink all day if you don’t start early!).
Then we made our way down to Strange Brew for our second card… and a snack! How nice, they were handing out chips and cheese dips.
Third on the itinerary was Rick’s Cafe. It was around this time that I realized I stood a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning this thing but it was also my third beer so….
Next, we were on to the Pickled Parrot and my hand wasn’t looking any better but the beers had made me unjustifiably optimistic so we also went to Cha Chi’s for the bonus card (that didn’t help!)
Lastly, we all ended on The Other Side (formerly Sailfish Resort) on Sunset Pointe Rd but… you guessed it, on the other side! This the perfect daytime party venue and the Poker Runners had the shindig in full swing. We drew our last cards and had our final drink (well, hardly anyone limited themselves to one drink).
Bob Leaman won with a straight flush: 7,8, 9, 10, and Jack of Spades. I don’t have a picture because we had to leave early to pick Mitch up from Sailing Club practice.
I kept hearing participants mention that the Run was “for charity” but they were unclear which charity. Placencia United and Strong is a fairly new name to most people; the civic organization was only formed about a year ago and is still gaining community support and recognition. In super simple terms- think of it as a Community Chest like in Monopoly. Lots of times when someone in the community gets severely sick or has a serious accident and needs pricey medical care or an operation, their friends and family have a fundraiser for them (very few people have health insurance or large savings to pull from). Or even when someone dies unexpectantly and the family doesn’t have the funds to bury them, the community raises the funds. It could be any number of reasons, but that person calls on the community to help them out. Family and friends typically organize a BBQ fundraiser or perhaps a silent auction. But its always a reactionary thing (that probably doesn’t bring in loads of money either) when the need is immediate, which inevitably leads to a delay of urgent care. Its just not efficient, so the idea behind Placencia United & Strong is to pre-emptively raise funds to have on hand so that when a community member has an emergency and urgent need- we can help, right then and there. There’s a board of directors who know the community intimately and vet requests (and there’s a sliding scale for aid based on certain factors and a finite cap on bequests). The idea is to have monthly fundraisers to routinely keep filling the pot as aid is doled out. So perhaps its a bit more ambiguous of a cause than specific requests from the Humane Society or the Fire Department, but this organization is so important to our community and directly helps our neighbors in their most desperate of times.
So, kudos Patrick on a successful Poker Run! And thank you all the bar proprietors that took part and all the participants that played along. We had fun AND worked towards a stronger and more united Placencia. If you’re around this weekend for the Sidewalk Art Festival you can support United and Strong by stopping for a beverage from the beer tent next to Cozy Corner (Village Council is running the bar at the pointe as their fundraiser and Placencia United & Strong is running the one at the other end as their fundraiser).