Poker run to raise money for diabetic alert dog for Lynden girl

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJuly 14, 2014 

LYNDEN - Bikers will set off north from the Stanwood American Legion Saturday, July 19, to compete in the third annual Raspberry Festival Poker Run.

The goal is not only to win the grand prize, a barbecue package, but to raise money to buy a diabetic alert dog for 8-year-old Olivia Grinstead from Lynden.

Olivia has type 1 diabetes, which causes her to constantly monitor her blood sugar levels or risk nausea, dizziness or possible seizures.

Hats Off T-Shirts and Engraving, the event host, hopes to raise $2,000 for the diabetic alert dog, which costs roughly $25,000. The dog is specifically trained to alert its owner when their blood levels begin to drop or are dangerously low.

Bikers will leave the American Legion at 8 a.m. and travel north toward Lynden, stopping at designated areas to pick up playing cards. There will be a total of seven stops; participants need to collect at least five cards to have a full poker hand.

The person with the best hand when arriving at the Raspberry Festival in downtown Lynden wins the grand prize, which includes an outdoor propane cooker, a crab pot and barbecue accessories. Registration for the event costs $20, and those interested in participating can show up the day of at the American Legion.

Participants can also play a bug splat game during the Poker Run by buying a target for $5 to put on their helmets. The person with the most bugs in the bull's eye wins a prize.

After arriving at the fairgrounds, bikers can show off their rides at a motorcycle show where trophies will be awarded.

The Northwest Raspberry Festival begins at 8 a.m. Friday, July 18, and runs until 6 p.m. Saturday, July 19. The free family-friendly event includes a car show, a 5k fun run, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament, kids activities and, of course, lots of berries.

For more event details go to lynden.org.

Reach Matthew Thompson at 360-715-2249 or matthew.thompson@bellinghamherald.com.

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