Firefighters’ poker run to benefit burn victims
STANLEY – It’s all about the children for Casey Noles.
Noles, a full-time firefighter at the East Lincoln Fire Department, is the president of the Lincoln County Firefighters’ Burned Children Fund.
And he’s organizing a poker run on July 21 to benefit it.
“Our No. 1 focus is the children,” Noles said. “We’re just trying to do whatever we can do for them.”
The run, which begins at 10 a.m. at East Lincoln Fire Department, costs $20 for one rider or $30 for two and includes dinner at the final stop. All proceeds benefit the fund, which goes toward helping burn victims as well as fire prevention programs across the state.
The run has been held annually for nine years with Noles in charge for four.
Noles’ wife, Beth, is also helping organize the 104-mile run that includes stops in Mooresville, Vale and Lincolnton.
She’s helped deliver books and shoes as Christmas presents to children in hospitals in the past.
“Their injuries are usually very substantial and they all have the best spirit when you go in there,” Beth Noles said. “They just get so much out of it that I couldn’t see myself not helping. The prevention side of it speaks for itself.”
Funds from the ride also help Camp Celebrate, a weekend-long camp for burn victims held in Raleigh each May.
The poker run isn’t the first fundraising effort of the year for the burned children fund. In June, Iron Station Thunder held a bikini bike wash during the Hog Happenin’ event that generated more than $350 for the fund.
On an average, the run has raised more than $3,000, Casey Noles said.
This year, they’re hoping to double the amount of riders.
“Those kids are in a situation they didn’t ask for and they’re having to deal with it,” Casey Noles said. “It’s life changing, it’s hard to describe. Humbling. Their lives are changed. With raising these funds, it gives them a chance to forget about (it) for a little while.”
Riders can register at the run’s final stop, Iron Station Thunder in downtown Lincolnton, or at the fire department, 406 S. Pilot Knob Road, Stanley.
The ride ends at Iron Station Thunder with food, door prizes, raffles, a 50/50 drawing and T-shirts. Prizes will be awarded for the best poker hand.
Poker run stops
• Start: East Lincoln Fire Department, Stanley
• Lancasters Barbecue, Mooresville
• Zippers, Lincolnton
• Union Fire Department, Vale
• RedBone Willy’s, Vale
• Final stop: Iron Station Thunder, Lincolnton