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Ride 4 Hospice revs up for 10th year

Prizes awarded to best, worst hands in annual poker run
by: Alana Kansaku-Sarmiento The Gateway Pub, known as a hangout spot for motorcyclists, is the starting and ending point for Sandy’s 10th annual Ride 4 Hospice.

More than just a spectacle, a group of motorcyclists will make their way through Sandy for a cause on Sunday, July 10.

The Gateway Pub, at 39100 Pioneer Blvd., will be the start of the 10th annual Ride 4 Hospice. Motorcyclists can enter for $15, passengers for $10, at this event that supports the nonprofit Mt. Hood Hospice - one of only a few nonprofit hospice centers in the state.

The event will begin with a staggered starting line between 9 and 10 a.m. at the Gateway Pub and ending at the same location. Every stop in between will be revealed on the day of the run.

As in years past, the event will feature a poker run during which participants will be able to draw cards at various stopping points throughout the course. The rider with the best hand at the end of the run will receive a special prize.

Local businesses have donated goods toward the event, including the Brightwood Tavern, which will provide all the food at a hamburger barbecue at one of the poker run stops.

The Ride 4 Hospice originated when Hoodland firefighter Ron Bradley was killed in June 2001 in a motorcycle crash on Highway 26, leaving behind a wife and two children. That year, one of the Hoodland firefighters decided to coordinate a ride out of the Hoodland Fire Station to raise money for the Bradley family. The next year, the Sandy Fire District took over the event, and it has been a success ever since.

'You always hear stories about how the fire department or the police department are your family,' said Ron Bradley's wife, Alison. 'From the bottom of my heart it is so incredibly true. It's amazing what they'd done for my family.'

Last year the event attracted some 200 motorcyclists, and the numbers have grown bigger every year. Though funds originally went to the Bradley family during the event's earliest years, proceeds from the ride go to Mt. Hood Hospice in Ron Bradley's name and memory. The winner of the best hand during poker run on July 10 will receive a special prize at the end of the event - as will the winner of the run's worst hand.

'Everything that we do that gives them a couple extra dollars, helps them provide a little better program for somebody else,' event coordinator Camille Gallegly said of Mt. Hood Hospice.

Gallegly, who began her involvement with the Sandy Fire District years ago when her husband at the time was a volunteer fire fighter, said that it's thanks to the integrity of the cause that she has managed the event for as many years as she has.

'I found that I'd never seen such a gracious and great group of people in my life as I did at hospice,' Gallegly said. 'That makes it worth supporting.'

Sandy community member Linda Collins, whose mother was cared for by hospice, agrees.

'A lot of children are very young that are getting help from hospice,' Collins said. 'It's not just the older generation. People don't realize how important it is. It's not just for the person, it's for the family also. I can't say enough for it.'

For those who would like to contribute to Mt. Hood Hospice but don't happen have a motorcycle available for the event, checks can always be made out to Mt. Hood Hospice.