Hundreds Take to the Road in Support of Local Vets

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Locals may have seen a few extra motorcycles on the road Saturday. That’s because more than 250 riders from several surrounding states came to Fayetteville to support veterans.

Of the 83 veterans living at the Fayetteville Veterans Home -- 68 men and 15 women -- all are in need of everyday essentials such as medicine, clothes and toiletries.   

"I volunteer at the veterans home, and while I was there I discovered a variety of things that I wasn't aware of,” said a biker and veteran who goes by the name, Walrus. “Most of the guys there need stuff, and they can't get stuff. They can't get their nails cut or their hair cut, and when the TV breaks they are sort of stuck."

To raise funds for those men and women, hundreds of riders took to the road Saturday for the annual Northwest Arkansas Veterans Home Poker Run.

"Our committee is a group of different clubs and individuals that do this every year, and it shows that they are really, really proud of what they are doing to get this many people to come out,” said Bill Koch, event chairman. “It's just unbelievable what we get."

Many of those participating Saturday, including one of the event organizers who goes by the name, Muskrat, are veterans.

"It makes us feel pretty good,” Muskrat said. “It's only once a year that we do this, but we make enough to cover the year and that's what it's all about."

Organizers received help from several organizations and individuals who donated all of the food and prizes for the event.

Proceeds from Saturday's event go straight to local veterans.

The last motorcyclist returned to the University of Arkansas Agri Park in Fayetteville Saturday at 2 p.m.