PINELLAS PARK — For seven years, the Run with the Big Dogs Poker Run has raised awareness and funds for greyhounds. It provides a day of entertainment, games, food and prizes while raising money to care for, and find homes for, retired racers.
Participants in the poker run, which takes place today, purchase blank tally sheets at registration and travel scenic routes between five locations, drawing a card at each stop. As in traditional poker, the best hand wins. Any vehicle, two- or four- wheeled, can participate.
One of the highlights of this year's event is a birthday party for Genie, believed to be the oldest greyhound in the area (her owners say she is 20). Plus meet foster greyhounds available for adoption. Greyhounds are an intelligent, gentle and patient breed. Before organizations like Greyhound Pets of America Tampa Bay, many dogs that were not profitable at the track were euthanized. Generally they get along well with other animals, prefer to avoid confrontation and conflict and are eager to please. Most of the dogs available are 3 to 5 years old.
The Edisons will keep the party going, playing music throughout the day at the Quaker Steak and Lube restaurant, and a Poker Walk between tables will add to the fun.
Vendors offer their wares, and a 50-50 drawing, door prizes, kids games and a scavenger hunt will keep everyone busy. A photographer offers framed 5 x 7 photo of you with your bike or your best friend for $10. A breakfast buffet will be served from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. for $6.99.
The run starts and ends at Quaker Steak with registration from 10 to 11 a.m. and the first vehicle out at 11 a.m. and last vehicle out 11:30 a.m.
Hands for the Poker Run are $10 per hand or three for $20, and hands for the Poker Walk are $5 per hand or three for $10.
Best hand in Poker Run wins $250; second, $150; and, third, $75. Best hand for Poker Walk wins $75; second, $50; and, third, $25.