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Poker run offers hospice supporters a reason to ride

In its 11th year, event also offers a bike show


by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: ALLISON BRADLEY - POST PHOTO: LISA K. ANDERSON This year's poker run and bike show will take place at Ria's Bar, 39024 S.E. Proctor Blvd.Ron Bradley was a volunteer firefighter, a kid's soccer coach, a beloved husband and a devoted father.

Eleven years ago, he was riding home from work on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle when he was struck by three vehicles on Highway 26 near Orient Drive just before midnight.

He died on the scene that night at age 40.

Hundreds of mourners gathered at Mt. Hood Village to grieve the loss of Bradley on July 3, 2001, and his two-hour memorial service was standing room only.

That summer, fellow Hoodland firefighters decided to coordinate an event to benefit Bradley's family - his wife, Allison; his daughter, Kady, now 16; and his son, Matt, now 21.

The event was a success, and two years later evolved to raise funds for Mt. Hood Hospice. A decade later, the community event continues in Ron Bradley's honor.

"It's been 11 years, and there's not a day that goes by that I don't miss him," Allison Bradley says. "I beep two times every time I pass his memorial in Sandy. Every time I see the flier with his name on it (for the ride) it brings a smile and a tear."

The Ron Bradley Memorial Ride 4 Hospice kicks off at 9 a.m. Sunday, July 15, this year at a new location - Ria's Bar, 39024 S.E. Proctor Blvd.

The poker run begins with a staggered start from 9-10 a.m. and will end around 3 p.m. at Ria's with an awards ceremony. Each rider will get a game card and directions to the next stop where they'll draw a card, with five locations altogether.

Motorcyclists can register for $15 per rider and $10 per passenger, with all proceeds benefitting Mt. Hood Hospice, one of the few nonprofit hospice centers in the state.

The Brightwood Tavern will offer a free barbecue, with all donations going toward Mt. Hood Hospice. Upon their return to Ria's, the winner of the best hand and worst hand in the poker run will receive special prizes.

In case anyone breaks down, Always Towing will be on call to bring riders back to Ria's.

Past years' events have attracted about 200 motorcyclists, with numbers growing each year, says Camille Gallegly, event organizer. She notes that this year the bike show is returning after a three-year hiatus, occupying the parking lot behind Ria's Bar.

"In past years, it's been 21 and older," Gallegly says. "Now it's more family friendly. Parents can look at the bikes and booths with their kids."

A giant banner at Ria's will offer participants the opportunity to write their thoughts about hospice, their memories of loved ones and the reflections from the ride.

For Kenny Gambell of Brightwood Tavern, hospice is a significant cause.

"It's helped my grandparents, my parents and members of our community up the mountain," he says.

And hospice not only helps the patients, but the families.

Donnie Burns of Mt. Hood Hospice notes that because of its nonprofit status and smaller size, Mt. Hood Hospice strives to be community-oriented and do things other hospices are unable to, such as arrange for a patient to take one last ride on a horse at a nearby stable.

"We try to emphasize what the families and patients want," she says.

Though it began out of a tragedy, Allison Bradley says Ride 4 Hospice is a fun and celebratory event her husband would have loved and supported.

Ria's will feature live music from noon to 3 p.m. by Sandy and Welches school teachers, vendors such as airbrush and tattoo artists, leather upholstery, Harley merchandise and Chopper clothing. There will also be a beer garden and barbecue ribs, trophies and raffle prizes.

"It keeps Ron's memory alive," Allison Bradley says. "I feel fortunate I'm able to volunteer and give back what they gave me those first few years."

For more information about the ride, call Camille Gallegly at 971-219-3317. Those who would like to contribute, but do not ride motorcycles, may write checks made out to Mt. Hood Hospice.