It was an absolutely beautiful day for a ride, according to hundreds that took part in this year’s Disabled American Veterans Chapter 22 and 727th Transportation U.S. Army National Guard Unit Charity Poker Run over the Labor Day weekend.
The ride, which starts in Brookings each year, makes its way to Flandreau for lunch in the park as one of the first stops. This was the 18th annual ride.
“It went excellent,” said Randy Tollefson, Quartermaster for the local VFW post. “It was our best year ever for our local post, we earned over $2,700 for local veterans. I haven’t heard the tally yet for the entire run and the DAV Transportation Network. We just appreciate the riders participating. We’ve been over 500 people the last 5-7 years. This year we had 708 registered, and it was awesome.”
Tollefson went on to thank all of those that helped volunteer and pull the day off.
”We have a few veterans that are able to help out, but if it wasn’t for the community…it wouldn’t be the success that it is. When you’ve got enough volunteers, everything seems much easier. That’s key to our success, basically,” said Tollefson.
What was raised overall to support the DAV Transportation Network has not yet been released. The network is one of the largest veterans service organizations in the U.S. with more than a million members. DAV operates a fleet of vehicles, driven by volunteers, who provide free transportation to VA medical facilities for injured and ill veterans. The rides are coordinated by more than 161 Hospital Service Coordinators around the country.