Tallmadge -- Despite consistent rain and cooler temperatures during the 10th annual Lance Cpl. Daniel "Nate" Deyarmin Jr. Memorial Benefit Run June 8, the spirit of helping disabled/disadvantaged American veterans and their families wasn't dampened.
This year's benefit raised a gross total of about $25,000, according to event organizer Edie Deyarmin. The net total raised has yet to be figured.
Last year, almost $35,000 was raised before subtracting expenses.
Edie said no official fundraising goal was set for this year, but she hoped to raise about $30,000.
Nate Deyarmin, a 2002 Tallmadge High School graduate, was killed while serving as a Marine in Iraq in 2005. He had a significant interest in working on and driving cars, trucks and motorcycles.
Each year his parents, Edie and Dan, honor his memory by putting on the event. All proceeds are used to help disabled/disadvantaged American veterans and their families.
More than 100 motorcycle drivers and 25 passengers registered for the Motorcycle Poker Run -- down from the 645 motorcycles and 288 passengers last year -- but only 25 motorcycles started and finished the course. The other 75 who started but didn't finish have the option of completing the course on another day.
When the bikes set out mid-morning, it was drizzling, and later the sprinkles turned into "a torrential downpour," Edie said.
"I felt it was unsafe for the bikes, but we had already sent the guys out," she said.
At each of the four stops on the 115-mile route through rural areas in the Akron/Canton area-- a business, a restaurant, a civic organization and a high school -- participants drew cards for their poker hands. They drew the last card and presented their poker hands at the home base of the benefit at the Tallmadge Middle School track. The winners of the game won trophies.
The car and truck show featured fewer vehicles this year because of the weather. The final count hasn't been tallied, but Edie estimated about 50 to 75 vehicles registered. Last year, 109 vehicles participated in the show.
Edie was "shocked" at the number of people who came despite the weather. About 500 to 700 people in total, including spectators, attended.
"We had people showing up because of the cause so that should make the veterans feel better," Edie said. "A lot of people just stopped in to show their support, buy raffle tickets and eat and that was fine."
Some of the soldiers from Nate's unit came to support each other.
"That was very touching for me. It was the highlight of my day," she said.
The food, raffle and Honor Wall that features photos and information about servicemen and women, whether living, deceased or currently serving, were moved inside the middle school.
"This was the first year we've had rain so one out of 10 isn't bad," she said.
To watch a video from the Poker Run, visit the "LCpl Daniel 'Nate' Deyarmin Jr. Memorial Benefit Run" page on Facebook.
Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.