Up to 125 motorcyclists are expected to thunder through Marietta Saturday morning on a benefit ride for Child Abuse Prevention Month.
They will stop briefly at the pavilion on the east side of Mercy Health/Love County Hospital and Clinic, with the first wave expected around 10:20 a.m.
“A Real Reason to Ride Poker Run” is sponsored by the C/SARA Foundation, whose work in crisis intervention benefits children from Love County and four surrounding counties, according to Sissy Burge of Marietta, C/SARA’s executive director.
“Our Child Advocacy Center reduces trauma for children who have been victims of physical and sexual abuse.
“Children from the area come to our central location in Ardmore for a single interview and medical examination instead of undergoing multiple interviews and exams as they used to before we opened,” Burge said.
Agencies participating in the coordinated effort at the Center include Department of Human Services, law enforcement, courthouse, hospital, and mental health counseling agencies.
Love County has been a participating Multidisciplinary Team since 1998.
“We look forward to seeing the colorful motorcycles and supporting the Child Advocacy Center because we have seen how it reduces trauma for child victims and helps investigatory agencies coordinate on cases,” said Richard Barker, hospital administrator.
Other stops on the run will be the courthouse in Marshall County, a counseling center in Tishomingo, the DHS office in Sulphur, and the police department in Davis.
The ride ends at the Child Advocacy Center for a tour and an informative lecture on child abuse services.
Bikers have signed up from the local area and other towns, including Norman and Wichita Falls, according to Burge.
She said she will be riding the Yamaha Vespa 650 she purchased last fall.