Engines will roar for the first annual HxmeSweetHxme Poker Run this Saturday morning at 9 a.m.
The motorcycle ride has been organized by the HxmeSweetHxme Foundation and is in support of the Orillia Youth Centre. Bikers will meet for the ride at Blue Moon Junction on Highway 11 North and will ride through Bala, Coldwater, and Craighurst.
“This is a motorcycle ride where riders start off with a couple of cards, they make three stops where they get a card each, and at the end, the person with the highest poker hand will win one of our grand prizes,” explained Shawn Cuppage, the event organizer and president of the HxmeSweetHxme Foundation.
There are $3,500 in prizes to be won on Saturday including a $1,000 tattoo package, cash prizes, and Harley-Davidson gift cards.
“We are doing this event to raise money for the Orillia Youth Centre and in honour of Orillia musician Jake Beers, who is my nephew,” Cuppage explained.
Beers, who took his own life in 2019, was a well known rapper who was involved in the Orillia Youth Centre and was passionate about giving back to the younger generation in Orillia.
“In Jake’s name we want to raise money and raise awareness about mental health for our youth,” Cuppage said.
“Something has to change; we want to bring some good fortune and positivity to help our local youth.”
Cuppage believes the Orillia Youth Centre is a community resource that should be better supported.
“We need to help the kids who have it so hard nowadays. They grow up in a world where they are expected to pay $2,000 a month rent by making $15 an hour; the pressure that they are under is hard on mental health,” he said.
“Kids don’t have an escape anymore because of social media, but the Youth Centre has great programs to help the kids in our neighbourhood.”
It’s expected that 100 motorcycle riders will be at Saturday’s event. To register, people should visit the Annettes Pet Grooming Facebook page, or in person at 290 Millard St. Registration costs $25.