Motorcycle groups organize event to benefit Walla Walla-area veterans

A pair of motorcycle groups will raise money Saturday to benefit veterans and their families.

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COLLEGE PLACE -- Two nonprofits are revving up for the second annual Show-N-Shine to benefit local veterans and their families in times of need. This Saturday, Combat Veterans International and R.I.D.E.R. of Washington, organizations that share common interests in motorcycling and helping their communities, will host the bike show, along with a barbecue and poker run.

CVI is a nonprofit organization of combat veterans and avid motorcyclists, dedicated to assisting local veterans. CVI Chapter 10, the Walla Walla branch, hosted its first Show-N-Shine last year.

The funds raised from the event sponsored three veterans' families during the holiday season. This year, proceeds will go toward a scholarship at Walla Walla Community College for a veteran or family member of a veteran who needs help with tuition.

"This year is a little bigger," said CVI Chapter 10 President Terry O'Brien. "We're hoping to get more people. We want people to come out and see the bikes and support our veterans."

To expand the event, CVI has joined efforts with R.I.D.E.R. of Washington, a non-profit that promotes motorcycle safety awareness and organizes events for riders pursuing "fun and adventure." R.I.D.E.R. has organized the Poker Run, in which riders stop at veterans memorials around the area and receive a card at each. The winner is the player with the best hand at the end of the Run.

R.I.D.E.R. will also host a "50/50 raffle," the winner of which will receive half of the raffle pot. The remaining half -- along with all proceeds from the Poker Run -- will be donated to services for veterans.

Local motorcycle riders are encouraged to bring their bikes to the event to "show the community the positive side of biking." A prize will be awarded to the bike of "people's choice."

All events will take place Saturday at Lyons Park, Southeast Eighth Street at Larch Avenue. From 9-10 a.m., participants can register for the R.I.D.E.R. Poker Run at $5 a hand. The Run begins at 10 a.m.

The barbecue, hosted by CVI, begins at 1 p.m. A donation of $7.50 is requested for food and drink. The CVI "Show-N-Shine" will take place from noon-2 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

Lara Goodrich can be reached at laragoodrich@wwub.com.

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