Snowmobile for Life Poker Run Saturday Feb. 18 in Grand Lake |

Snowmobile for Life Poker Run Saturday Feb. 18 in Grand Lake

Tonya Binatbina@skyhidailynews.comGrand Lake, CO Colorado

Poker and snowmobiling – not something that normally go hand-in-hand simultaneously, except for once a year in Grand Lake during the annual “Snowmobile for Life Poker Run.”Participants are dealt one card at a time at different locations along the Grand Lake-area snowmobile trail system, and the person with the best five-card hand of the day receives $700 in cash. A joint effort of the Trail Blazers Snowmobile Club in Grand Lake and the Mile High Snowmobile Club of Denver, the event supports the Flight For Life air ambulance.In the past 11 years, the annual Poker Run has raised as much as $60,000 for the Flight For Life program, according to event chair Kimbirly Orr. The 40-year Flight For Life program in Colorado was the very first civilian, nonprofit air ambulance in the nation. Because the helicopter services patients regardless of insurance status, the flight program runs at a deficit annually, Orr said.Proceeds of this year’s event are for Flight For Life’s new Eurocopter AS 350B3E, a craft deemed larger and more efficient. The new helicopter “will dramatically improve Flight For Life Colorado’s ability to make high-altitude rescues,” Orr said.To include the Grand Lake commercial district in this year’s event, organizers have added an official happy hour from 4-6 p.m. at Grumpy’s Saloon, then an official awards ceremony at the Daven Haven from 6-8 p.m. There, representatives from the Grand Lake restaurant Max & T’s will present the results of their Flight For Life fundraiser consisting of month-long drink specials. Last year, the restaurant donated $400 to the cause, Orr said.The riders with the second and third best poker hands of the day will be awarded $200 and $100 respectively.It is the hope of organizers to raise as much as $10,000 this year through the Poker Run registration and a large silent auction that will take place in the Grand Lake Community House throughout the day. “Anybody can take part in the silent auction,” Orr said. “One doesn’t need to be a part of the poker run.”Riders in the Poker Run and participants in the silent auction will be required to return to the community house at 4 p.m. to turn in cards and to learn the results of the silent auction.The auction will include art work, photography, jewelry, golf equipment, snowmobile equipment, books, household items, and restaurant certificates from Grand County and Denver. Participants in the auction must be present at 4 p.m. to claim items, or they will go to the next bidder, Orr said.

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