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iTNLanier to host inaugural car show, poker run April 30
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iTNLanier Car Show and Poker Run
When: 10 a.m. to noon car show; noon to 4 p.m. poker run Saturday, April 30
Where: Wild Wings Cafe, 311 Jesse Jewell Parkway, Gainesville
Cost: $15 for car show display, $25 poker run entry fee
Contact: info@itnlanier.org, 678-696-0360
More info: itnlanierpokerrun.yapsody.com

A ride through the North Georgia Mountains is turning into a friendly competition with the added bonus of a charitable contribution.

The inaugural iTNLanier “Ride 4 Seniors” Car Show and Poker Run will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 30. The car show and the beginning and end of the poker run will be at Wild Wings Cafe, 311 Jesse Jewell Parkway in Gainesville.

“It’s both a car show and a poker run,” said Erika Walker with iTNLanier. “This is our first event ever. We’re opening our doors officially next week, and we’re actually doing some training with volunteers now.”

Independent Transportation Network Lanier is a national affiliate of iTNAmerica, which is a nonprofit senior transportation service operating throughout Hall County.

“The No. 1 gap in services nationally is senior transportation,” Walker said. “When you look at senior needs, there are not enough people getting help to go where they want to go when they want to go.”

Therefore, the organization tries to fill that gap. It provides “door-through-door, arm-in-arm” assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“We help people who are on walkers, who use canes, or any seniors who don’t use them,” Walker said. “Wheelchairs, as long as they can be transported into a car. And our drivers are volunteers who are background checked and trained to help people get to their destination.”

The “Ride 4 Seniors” is the nonprofit’s first-ever fundraiser. The car show will be held in the United Community Bank parking lot adjacent to Wild Wings Cafe from 10 a.m. to noon. Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place. Display fees are $15 each, and entries can be made the day of the event.

The remainder of the day will be dedicated to the poker run, Walker said.

In a poker run, participants visit multiple checkpoints, drawing a playing card at each one. The object is to have the best five-card draw hand at the end of the run.

“It’s for both motorcycles and cars,” Walker said. “You’ll come to the Wild Wings Cafe parking lot and register if you’re interested in being a part of the poker run. We’ll have a motorcycle/car trail that goes up through Cleveland, Dahlonega, Dawsonville and back to Gainesville and Wild Wings Cafe.”

The poker run will begin at noon and travel through Hall County, beginning and ending at Wild Wings Cafe. Maps will be provided for the stops along the way.

“Most people will be motorcycle riders, but you don’t have to be,” Walker said. “My husband and I have a convertible, and we’ll be riding in it. It can be any car you want.”

Registration for the poker run begins at 11 a.m. Saturday in Wild Wings. Best poker hand, second place and last place prizes will be available.

Entry to the poker run is $25, plus $10 for each additional rider. The first 200 registrants will receive a T-shirt, and pre-registration is available online.

The event will include a raffle, and guests can dine at Wild Wings afterward for 10 percent off their meal.

Walker said the event is an opportunity not only to assist the nonprofit, but to serve the elderly in the community.

“Every one of us has grandparents, aunts, uncles and friends who get isolated in their homes and need an opportunity to be supported and to get where they want to go when they want to go there,” she said. “Doctors offices, grocery stores, restaurants — anything they would like to do, we want to make sure we provide for them.”

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