By JD Gore and Jody Davison
Typically, when you see a large group of bikers, they are not looking for trouble but most likely are raising money in the community.
There are some strong bonds in communities. No bond seems stronger than a brotherhood. Now take that brotherhood and add the bikers code and it’s about as strong a bond as you can have. But when you have brothers/sisters who have served in the military together and add those bonds together they become immeasurable.
Well on July 14th, Jody and I found ourselves in Lakewood, WA at Eagle Leather as they were supporting a poker ride by a local Motorcycle Club. Special Forces Brotherhood MC was having their 9th annual poker ride benefiting the Green Beret Foundation. If you know any history on the US Army Special Forces or the Green Berets, you’d understand that these guys don’t mess around, even when they have a good time, it’s a serious good time. The secretary of the MC contacted Eagle Leather about hosting their kickoff and E.L. was more than happy to help.
Bikes were filling up both the front and back parking lot as registration took place under tents out front. Once you signed up you were given a map and ride itinerary along with your first card of your poker hand. Eagle Leather provided coffee and a light snack for anyone who needed it. You could also purchase any gear or item you needed for your ride, even get a patch sewn on or chaps tailored.
The Secretary of SFBMC said he believes the turnout this year is one of the largest. He also shared, “It is difficult at times to plan events that don’t conflict with other MC events, since we like to support each others’ clubs.” As Jody and I walked around and shot the breeze, we ran into many different MC members in attendance: Combat Veterans, Disabled Veterans, Sons of Mosby, Brothers in Arms, Iron Legacy, American Steel as well as active members of the Marines and Army. There were also many civilian patriots in support of the cause.
Kickstands were up at 11am and when they say 11 they mean it. There is no lollygagging as when they say they move out at a time, they do. At 11am bikes were rolling around to the back of Eagle Leather to enter the street with room before the traffic light. The next stop is at The Float Pub and Grill in Gig Harbor. According to the map handed out, it’s 22 or so minutes away with a 25 minute hang out time, or dwell. Then off to 2 Margaritas in Union, 50 minutes away and a 1 hour dwell. Then it’s to Bob’s Tavern, 20 minutes, 25 dwell and a 3rd card. Last stop is at the Office Bar and Grill in Tumwater, 20 minutes and final card, raffle and 50/50 drawing and poker results.
If you’ve never ridden this route, we recommend it, as SFBMC planned it well. The tolls were for the opposite direction of traffic and the scenery was beautiful. The area this route covered was a section of islands in the lower sound, offering great views of protected bays and ocean ways. It was determined that the run would end around 15:00 and the majority of bikes were parked out front of the Office as the good times rolled inside at 3pm.
Inside, members of SFBMC lined up the raffle prizes and were selling 50/50 tickets and figuring out the best and worst poker hands. After handing out the great raffle items they drew for the 50/50 winner. Jeff Williams won a $160 pot. Hecklers and party goers were abundant in good spirit. Then they announced the low hand. Monica Hawley reluctantly accepted her winnings as holder of the lowest hand. Which to her benefit, is 2nd place in the money. The winner of the highest hand was Joe Raimo with a spade flush.
All the other funds collected went to Green Beret Foundation, which helps members of the special forces with a wide variety of support for members and their families. The Green Beret Foundation provides much needed support for soldiers and loved ones and if anyone wants to contribute they can go to www.greenberetfoundation.org.
As we mentioned, communities have great causes. And the greater the community the more their greatness shows in whom they help. Thank you to Eagle Leather, The Float Pub and Grill, 2 Margaritas, Bob’s Tavern and Office Bar and Grill for being tremendous supporters of SFBMC. Thank you Special Forces Brotherhood MC for a great poker ride and education as who you are and what you stand for. Thank you all for your service. Looking forward to the 10th annual poker ride the second Saturday next July.