By Joel Hall
Hundreds of bikers will gather this weekend at Harley Davidson of Clayton County -- and ride, in order to make life easier for the animals living at the Clayton County Humane Society shelter.
The first-ever "Bikers for Barkers Poker Run" will take place on Saturday morning at the Harley Davidson dealership, located at 1384 Southlake Parkway in Morrow. Registration will begin at 8 a.m., and between 10 a.m., and 2 p.m., riders will visit the Clayton County Humane Society, the historic Hampton Train Depot, and Noah's Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children Care Homes in Locust Grove.
For $25 per rider ($35 with a passenger), participants will get to experience a free concert by local rock/blues band "REMEDY," a silent auction, a raffle, vendors, pet-related art sales, and law enforcement canine demonstrations. Participants in the poker run will get to retrieve a poker card at each location, with $500 going to the person with the highest poker hand at the end of the day.
Greg Lawrence, a Humane Society volunteer, local, graphic artist, and motorcycle enthusiast, came up with the event, he said. All proceeds of the event, he added, will go to the work of the Clayton County Humane Society, the county's only no-kill animal shelter.
"I ride a Harley and a couple of my friends work with the Humane Society,' said Lawrence. "They said, what do you think about a motorcycle ride, and I said we can do that. Eventually, I just came up with Bikers for Barkers.
"I just wanted to raise some money for the Humane Society, because I've never seen a more dedicated group of volunteers in my life," he continued. "They don't receive any local, state or federal funding. I hope that this will raise awareness of the Humane Society and what they do ... We're hoping to make this an annual event."
According to Maria Dorough, community outreach coordinator for the Clayton County Humane Society, "200 to 300" bikers are expected to attend the event. She said the proceeds will help replace the shelter's broken furnace.
"You have to have furnaces in the winter time for these animals," Dorough said. "It can't be fixed, so we are going to have to replace it ... We have to replace it before the winter comes."
Registration will take place on the day of the event and includes a T-shirt and lunch for each participant. For more information, or to register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com, or call (404) 630-8515, or (770) 477-8352.