05 August 2014

Remember 'Red Bull' Soldier at Aug. 30 Poker Run

The 3rd Annual Donny Nichols Memorial Ride and Poker Run will be held in Eastern Iowa Sat., Aug. 30, 2014. The fund-raising event commemorates Iowa Army National Guard Spc. Donny Nichols, 21, of Shell Rock, Iowa, killed April 13, 2011 in Laghman Province, Afghanistan. The event will start and finish in Shell Rock.

In 2010, Nichols was deployed with 2nd Brigade Combat Team (B.C.T.), 34th Infantry "Red Bull" Division (2-34th BCT) in Eastern Afghanistan. Nichols was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment (1-133rd Inf.), which is based in Waterloo, Iowa.

Each year, event organizers direct funds to military-themed projects. Proceeds from this year's event, for example, will benefit Flags for Freedom Outreach, a Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. non-profit that supports and remembers wounded soldiers during recovery and reintegration.

Among other supporting groups, the 34th Infantry Division Association (34th Inf. Div. Assoc.) will staff a booth during registration for the ride. The organization will donate $5 for every individual who displays an item of "Red Bull" swag to booth personnel—stickers, tattoos, patches, association membership cards, flags, etc.—displayed by any poker run attendee or participant, up to a total of $500. While there, make sure also to register for a giveaway of two replica 34th Infantry Division flags!

In a poker run, registered participants are dealt random cards. While many motorcyclists are anticipated, organizers emphasize that "all types of wheels" are welcome. At the final stop of the day, the participant with the highest poker hand wins a pot of cash. Raffles, T-shirt sales, and other fund-raising efforts will also take place during the event.

Ride shirts may be pre-ordered and pre-paid ($15 each) by Aug. 22, 2014. Contact Jeanie at 319.464.2050. A limited number of shirts will also be on sale at the event.

This year's T-shirts feature a red, white, and blue color scheme. On the front is a photograph of an Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (M.R.A.P) All-Terrain Vehicle, the crew of which is proudly flying the American flag while downrange in Afghanistan.

Registration is Sat., Aug. 30, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at The Cooler, 201 South Cherry St., Shell Rock, Iowa. The ride will begin approximately 11 a.m. Start times may be staggered if numbers warrant.

Each poker "hand" is $15, and dealt at The Cooler. There will also be a 50-50 raffle at the start and possibly (details pending) at the finish. Other raffle prizes will be awarded at the finish, time pending.

Here is the route for the poker run:
  • Start: Shell Rock, Iowa at The Cooler
  • 1st Stop: Hudson at Federal Pub
  • 2nd Stop: La Porte City at PNBS
  • 3rd Stop: Waterloo at Buzz's
  • 4th Stop: Waverly at Dirty Dog
  • Final Stop: Shell Rock at The Cooler
For a Facebook page for the Aug. 30 event, click here.

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