A benefit for two local families returns to Fayette County this summer, officials say. The second annual Poker Run for Gary & Tristen will take place on Saturday July 9th.
This event will be held at American Legion Post 25 at 1240 US-22 at Washington Court House. Washington High School student Tristen Mider was diagnosed with Philadelphia chromosome leukemia. Miami Trace Elementary student Gary Lewis was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic T-cell leukemia.
Gary and Tristen were both diagnosed with leukemia in January 2021. This benefit is intended to help these two children and their families as they deal with the many challenges that come with a diagnosis of childhood cancer.
Officials say last year’s event was a resounding success for both families, and organizers are looking to make this year’s event even better.
“Revisiting Creedence”, a band whose leaders traveled and performed with the original members of “Creedence Clearwater Revival”, will perform. T-shirts will be on sale throughout the day and a raffle will be held to raise funds for both families. The raffle items include a 2019 Harley Street Bob, a $5,000 travel voucher and .22 Henry Rifle 2nd Amendment Addition. Tickets for the raffle are $20 each.
This year’s Poker Race will begin and end at American Legion Post 25. Registration and breakfast will be from 9-11am. The cost to participate will be $20 per bike with all proceeds going to the Lewis and Mider families. The ride will include three stops, with crutches at 11 a.m. and the last bike at 4 p.m. The first stop on the route will be the Hammer Time Pub in Mount Sterling. Dough Boyz Pizza & Pub at Commercial Point will be the second stop, with Smitty’s Tavern in New Holland being the final stop before riders return to American Legion Post 25.
The benefit concert will take place immediately after the Poker Run at the American Legion Post 25. Doors open at 3 p.m. for those not attending the poker run. Admission is $20 per person and all proceeds will go directly to the Lewis and Mider families. For those who participate in the Poker Run, admission to the benefit concert is free.
A full slate of entertainment is scheduled, beginning at 3pm, ‘Rock & Roll DJs’ will kick off the entertainment, followed by ‘The SASS’ at 5:30pm. “The Aaron Buckley Band” will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. while the headliner, “Revisiting Creedence,” is scheduled to perform at 9:30 p.m.
There are several options for those wishing to eat during this event. Food trucks will be on site, burgers and hot dogs will be sold by a local scout group, and the American Legion will have its full menu available during the event.
One of the people making this event possible, Chris Lachat, released a statement regarding this cause. “I was traveling with my good friends Amy and Derek Winters when I first learned of Gary’s diagnosis. A group of people were having a chicken noodle night for the family and Amy asked me if I wanted to help. An incredible team of people spent an entire week cracking eggs donated by local farmers, baking homemade noodles, peeling hundreds of pounds of potatoes, and bagging and labeling nearly two thousand cookies donated by bakeries. and local individuals. We finally served 1,071 chicken noodle dinners on January 31, 2021, in the middle of a snowstorm. The outpouring of love and support was overwhelming as we watched this community come together for a family whose child was recently diagnosed with cancer.
Lachat continued: “It was shortly after this performance that we learned of Tristen’s diagnosis – two local families facing the unimaginable – our work had only just begun. On August 14, 2021, we hosted the first annual poker run and benefit concert for Gary & Tristen, and it was a huge success! Many local businesses sponsored the event and covered all of our expenses. Nearly 150 motorcycles took part in the event and, again, dozens of volunteers worked tirelessly to make it happen. Our mission since that first benefit in January 2021 has always been to help ease the financial burden on these families as they wake up each morning and experience the reality of a diagnosis of childhood cancer. Join us on July 9 and help us make this the biggest and best event yet!
Referral opportunities are available in four tiers, starting with a $500 silver level referral and going up to a $5,000 diamond level referral. Checks can be made payable to Lewis & Mider Benefit Fund and mailed to 622 W. Market St, Washington Court House, OH 43160.
Those interested in participating can follow the Gary & Tristen Benefit Facebook group, as well as the Facebook event page “Poker Run and Benefit Concert for Gary & Tristen – 2nd Annual” for updates and details.
Bikes lined the street during the first “Poker Run for Gary & Tristen” last year.