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Bikers invited to help veteran effort

The Maupin Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking donations for an event that will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project and the local group Outdoor Adventures with Military Heroes.

“The more money we raise, the more our veterans get,” said Steve Amaral, who is in the process of making the rounds to ask area businesses for contributions.

He said the chamber needs to cover a $4,500 outlay for sponsorship of the second annual Maupin Madness Poker Run and Bike Show on Saturday, June 7. Plus, contributions for a 50/50 raffle are being sought.

Every donation or in-kind service for preparation, said Amaral, frees up money to give to programs that provide services to men and women who have returned from combat with life-altering injuries. He invites area biking groups to join the fun and help “the most worthy of causes.”

Last year, the chamber provided Wounded Warriors, one of the nation’s top charities, with $1,000 after 45 bikers made the run to collect poker cards along 200 miles of curvy, rolling roads in Central Oregon.

“We are expecting 100 bikers this year but, hopefully, we get more as the word gets out,” said Amaral. “It is our hope to just keep this thing growing – we need to be taking care of the veterans who have provided us with the freedom to do things like this.”

Registration for the 2014 run is 8 to 10 p.m. at Kaiser Park, across from Maupin Market and costs $15 for the first hand and $5 for the second.

Breakfast will be available that morning and overnight camping and lodging is available in several locations in and around Maupin.

The bike show and party that includes an award of trophies in seven categories begins at 5 p.m. at Imperial River Company, 304 Bakeoven Road. The evening’s entertainment will include live music and Amaral said two classic rock bands have been lined up and the chamber is seeking a third.

Interested musicians are asked to call his wife, Cristie Amaral, coordinator for the chamber, at 541-993-1708 or email her through the website, www.maupinoregon.com

Steve said the chamber was in the process of planning for the 2014 run when Cristie learned about Outdoor Adventures.

The nonprofit led by firefighters, law enforcement officers and cowboys organizes hunting and fishing trips and other recreational activities for veterans from Wasco County. To qualify, former military personnel must have been in combat and sustained some type of a wound, which includes a physical disability, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) or a traumatic brain injury.

“We are really excited to have Outdoor Adventures in this county because it is run entirely by volunteers so all donations go to our veterans and nothing is deducted for administrative costs,” said Amaral.

Fred Coleman, president of Outdoor Adventures, plans to be present for the poker run and said other members of the board are also likely to attend if their schedules permit.

“We were surprised and honored to have them ask us if they could do this for our programs,” he said. “We are very grateful this is happening and look forward to this partnership that honors and repays some of our wounded combat veterans.”

He can be reached for more information about Outdoor Adventures at 541-980-4094.

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