Poker run benefits The Center of Family Love

On Sept. 12, members of the Knights on Bikes rallied in support of the Love Run to raise money for the new and exclusive 1981 Crew at The Center of Family Love in Okarche.

The 1981 Crew is an exclusive monthly giving program established to celebrate The Center of Family Love’s 40 years in service to those who live with physical and intellectual disabilities. It is named after the year, 1981, when the center was founded by the Knights of Columbus.

Bikers from all over the state participated.

“We are constantly astonished and humbled by the overwhelming support provided to our residents by the Knights on Bikes. We are thrilled to roll out our new 1981 Crew, spearheaded by our crew captain, center resident, Kevin D. The support provided by the Knights on Bikes is helping us launch a new initiative that illuminates the collective power that donors can have together,” said Debbie Espinosa, president and CEO of The Center of Family Love.

Tim Burns was the event organizer and announced that over $2,500 was raised for the center at this first-time event.

Despite weather issues, concerns over COVID-19 and other state competing events, event organizers had more than 30 motorcycles participate. All are members of the Oklahoma Knights of Columbus.

Mark Cearley, central regional president of Knights on Bikes said, “Tim Burns did an outstanding job organizing and promoting the first-time event. He has established a great building block for future events for The Center of Family Love. I was quite proud of the accomplishment.”

A poker run consists of five stops and at each stop, a participant picks up a card. At the end of the five stops, the one with the best poker hand wins the grand prize. There also is a prize for the one with the worst poker hand. There also are additional door prizes.

Jim Spaeth, Oklahoma president of the Knights on Bikes said, “It is a great social time had by all. Tim put a lot of work into it. It was well put together. The real winners are the residents of The Center of Family Love.”

Tim Burns said, “This was the first time I organized an event of this magnitude. We are hoping to build the event bigger and better next September 2021.”

Next year the Knights on Bikes hope to have people from the archdiocese join in the event in cars.

For $19.81 a month, people can help ensure a lasting legacy for CFL residents, especially during this critical time. To sign up, visit centeroffamilylove.org/1981crew.

Charles Albert is a freelance writer for the Sooner Catholic.

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