It Was BAD...BAD...BAD
Plain and simple, it was BAD on May 15, 2011.
The 10th Annual Bikers Against Diabetes Poker Run, better known as the B.A.D Run, braved the nasty mid-May weather in an effort to raise money for the fight against diabetes. Hosted by The Fraternal Order of Eagles, Club 3224, in Aurora, the event generally draws a couple hundred bikes and even more people. This year, like so many early season events, attendance was down a bit, but enthusiasm stayed high.
A good-sized crowd showed up for the buffet breakfast, but after breakfast we saw the line between committed riders (or, riders who should be committed) and those who were afraid to get their hair wet drawn. The hearty and brave leathered up to endure the cold, damp weather and put a few miles on for the cause. With 75 bikes out on the road, preparations were quickly made for the after party.
The past eight years, Frank Longobardi, one of the Eagle Riders, has been instrumental in putting this event together. All proceeds raised go directly to Children’s Hospital Diabetes Research Unit. While the total amount raised has not yet been made available, Longobardi said the total is expected to be more than last year’s event, despite the smaller attendance, due largely to an increase in t-shirt sales.
Longobardi speculated that the increase in shirt sales was because the Eagle Riders invited Laurie Eastman to create the shirts on site, allowing people to watch while their shirts were being made.
“I think people had even more of a sense they were helping to be part of this fight against diabetes by purchasing a shirt that was created just for them”, said Eastman. “They like to see how we make a t-shirt…it’s something different.”
There were staff and patients from Children’s Hospital on hand, but the one that stood out was six-year-old Lilly, who was the Diabetes Ambassador for event. Lilly helped with the raffle drawings, and thanked the crowd for all the support. She also enjoyed dancing the day away with her family to the music performed by Phycho X.
The bikes rolled back in around 2:30 and joined with the party of people who didn’t ride, but were still there in support of the event. All were treated to a feast of hamburgers, hot dogs and brats. They enjoyed liquid refreshments served from a staff that took every opportunity to dance on the bar and entertain the crowd in between pouring drinks. The best poker hand prizes were given out, the raffles and silent auctions were completed, and the band drove the party home by rocking out for the crowd.
Towards the end of the day, Longobardi was presented with an award in appreciation for all his hard work and dedication to the cause.
Overwhelmed with emotion, he fought back the tears and said, “I do all this to help the kids and because my wife Angie also suffers from diabetes, I put my heart and soul into this because it is a cause I believe in.”
BAD as it was, the run was a success…but it was just BAD, BAD, BAD.