Participants in the Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club take off at the beginning of the club's annual poker run Saturday. The run covered five stops and more than 30 miles spanning Freeman Reservoir and Black Mountain.

Photo by Hans Hallgren

Participants in the Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club take off at the beginning of the club's annual poker run Saturday. The run covered five stops and more than 30 miles spanning Freeman Reservoir and Black Mountain.

Snowmobile Club's annual poker run helps raise scholarship money

An atypical January rainfall Saturday turned normally snowy conditions at Freeman Trailhead into a slushy mess for the Northwest Colorado Snowmobile Club's annual poker run.

But the cold, wet slop didn't stop more than 90 people from showing up with snowmobiles in tow.

"The numbers were a little lower, but considering the weather and (it was) raining in January, we had another very successful year," club treasurer Dana Clark said.

Snowmobilers started their morning a little after 9 a.m., purchasing poker run hands for $10 a piece.

They then rode 30 miles of trails, covering Freeman and Black Mountain. There were four stops along the trails, each with a roulette wheel, and a fifth stop back at the Freeman Trailhead, where the ride began.

A spin on the wheel determined your card.

Riding continued throughout the day. However, low visibility and poor conditions kept the "play" to a minimum.

"But the people seemed to enjoy (the ride)," club president Stan Fox said. "They didn't do as much playing as they wanted to, just because of the visibility.

"Who wants to stand in the rain compared to a snowstorm? I'd rather see a snowstorm any day. People like the fluffy stuff, but that's only part of it. Most of the people show up for the cause."

The cause Saturday was raising money for scholarships.

After the poker run, a dinner and awards banquet took place at the Veterans of Foreign Wars restaurant, 419 E. Victory Way.

During dinner, players had an opportunity to better a hand for $5.

This year, the club sold 148 hands, compared to last year's 167 hands.

Randy Moore, of Craig, won best hand, which netted him 25 percent of the money raised.

Second place won 15 percent, and third won 10 percent.

The final 50 percent raised goes toward two scholarships for Moffat County High School graduating seniors.

Club members said they still are determining how much Saturday's event raised.

"(Snowmobilers) show up for the poker run because they know that the outcome is for the kids, for the scholarships," Fox said. "The riding is just a plus."

"We want to support our kids, so this is our big money-raiser every year," Clark added.

Supporting the kids is something that Moore agreed with.

He decided to donate the money he won back to the scholarship fund and said he decided to donate the money back because his children previously received scholarships from the club.

"What goes around, comes around," Moore said.

The next snowmobile club event is the Soldier's Snowmobile Ride on Feb. 28.

For more information, call Stan Fox at 326-1760.

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