'Poker Run' raises money to send local veterans to Washington D.C.
COLUMBIA - Members of the Midwest Infidels riding group raised money on Saturday to send local veterans to Washington D.C. on an Honor Flight.
Honor Flights are an all expense paid trip that send local veterans to Washington D.C. to see the city and meet other veterans. The trip costs about $300 per veteran.
"It is a life changing day for a lot of these guys and you will see the impact that it has for them to meet with other veterans and be able to tell their stories," said Crystal Carter, a poker run participant. "A lot of people won't open up except to other veterans."
Darren Mahel, president of the Midwest Infidels, said it was important for the group to host the fundraiser to give back to local veterans.
"Those veterans signed a check that was bigger than anything," Mahel said. "They deserve to have a little something at the end of the day."
Following the ride, the group hosted a dinner at the American Legion Post 202 where they served pork steaks, sandwiches, chips and more. There was also a silent auction where people could bid on t-shirts and concert tickets among other items.
Veterans who were interested in going on the Honor Flight signed up at the dinner.
Organizers said about 150 people participated in the event throughout the day.