By Jacob Mathias
Dozens donned their leathers for a Saturday afternoon motorcycle ride in an effort to raise money during Papa Joe’s Poker Run for Jesse.
Over 60 Harley-Davidson motorcyclists from all over the area met in Stevens Point at Papa Joe’s Bar at noon on Saturday to begin a charity poker run to raise money for the family of 14-year-old cancer patient Jesse Glodowski.
“It’s just a group of people that care,” said Willie Higgins who organizes the Harley community for the run with his wife Shelley Higgins.
Sandy Kryshak, owner of Papa Joe’s, has hosted five poker runs to benefit area individuals who need help, always raising between $2,500 and $3,000.
“We always would like to give back to the community,” said Mike Nelson, Kryshak’s fiance and poker run co-host. “If your establishment does well and you can support someone who has lesser means.”
Jesse was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma-A, a bone cancer that developed in his knee, last October. Since then he has gone through several medical treatments and surgery as he continues to fight his cancer.
“The Harley crew is a pretty tight-knit crew and they’re some of the most giving people that you’ll find,” said Nelson. “One hundreds percent of all the money generated here goes right to the family for any expenses that they incur,” said Nelson.
Each rider paid a $20 registration fee which along with raffle ticket proceeds will be donated to Glodowski’s family.
The riders make four stops along their ride including the Northland Bar in Iola, Bear Lake Campground in Manawa, the Fuel Stop in Almond and Keller International Bar in Wisconsin Rapids.
“All these places also make a donation to the poker run,” said Kryshak.
Their final stop was back at Papa Joe’s at 6 PM for dinner donated by Papa Joe’s and raffles prizes. Raffle prizes included a Harley-Davidson wall sign, beer coolers, quarter barrel parties, tickets to the Hodag Country Festival, Country USA and Brewer games.
Kryshak said she also wanted to thank the Portage County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Stevens Point for helping escort their group of bikers as they began their ride.