WELLINGTON — Rivercross Hospice, which serves patients in Sumner, Cowley and Sedgwick counties, raised money last weekend to fight Alzheimer’s disease. This was the second year for the Alzheimer’s Memory Last Poker Run started by Gina Wallace, a licensed practical nurse and nurse liaison out of the Winfield office.
“Somebody gets diagnosed with Alzheimer’s every 65 seconds,” Wallace said. “One in six women will get it. One in 11 men will get it. There’s no cure so all this money goes into research to find a cure for Alzheimer’s.”
Motorcyclists and drivers of classic cars participated in the event, starting at Ma-goo’s Bar and Grill in Wichita and making six more stops, going from Park City to Augusta and back to Wichita where the trek ended at Snoops Bar and Grill.
At each of the seven stops, participants drew cards. The person with the best hand at the end won 30 percent of the pot, which that individual then donated back to the Central and Western Kansas chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the raffle went back to the Alzheimer’s Association, Wallace said.
Last year, organizers had only two weeks to plan the initial poker run and there were 27 people who rode motorcycles compared to around 75 this year, Wallace said. The fundraiser brought in $1,500 that first year and $2,400 this year.
Wallace created the event after losing her mother, Jeanie Chandler, to Alzheimer’s.
“She was very intelligent,” Wallace said. “She was definitely the backbone of our family. She survived breast cancer and never missed a day of work to chemotherapy and radiation. She was one of the strongest women I’ve ever known.”