CARGILL – The Brad Wilken Memorial Poker Run and Car Show at the Cargill Community Centre on Saturday, Aug. 27 was a bittersweet day for the event’s organizer, Dawn MacKay, who wanted “to do something special to remember him and what he stood for.”
She said the event will become an annual one, “in memory of Brad Wilken, an outstanding community member, friend, mentor and partner.”
Brad was killed in a motorcycle crash on Aug. 15, 2021 in Quebec, she said. “He was away with friends, doing what he loved and living his life.
“Brad loved being on his motorcycle or in one of his old trucks and he loved supporting his community. He was a small business owner himself so he knew the importance of supporting local and being generous when you could. He believed that you get back what you give, and he gave a lot!”
She added, “I said at the event, ‘I loved when Brad and I would go away because then he was all mine. When we came home, I shared him with our community, and I’m OK with that, he was loved by all of us.’”
This year’s Poker Run included the option for four stops, said MacKay – Barrhead Markdale, Trixie’s Saloon in Ayton, MacLean’s Ales in Hanover and Walker’s Landing in Walkerton.
The event began with a breakfast for the riders.
MacKay said the bikes in the parking lot made for a spectacular sight, with them all lined up.
Then came the car show in the afternoon and live entertainment in the evening.
In all, there were 170 bikes and cars registered for the poker run, and approximately 400 people in attendance.
Among them were Brad’s three friends who were with him when he died. The three – Maurice Frieburger, Homer Lang and Lloyd Hendry – wore white T-shirts and stood with MacKay.
In addition to the ride there were T-shirt sales, raffle draws and a bar.
All proceeds from this year’s event go to Saugeen Hospice, with the exception of the 50/50 draw which goes to the Grey Bruce Eat and Learn program at John Diefenbaker Senior School.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times