Twentynine Palms -- Engines roared through Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley, Calif., as Combat Center motorcycle riders participated in the third annual Domestic Violence Awareness Poker Run Motorcycle Ride, Oct. 7, 2016.
To kick-off Domestic Violence Awareness Month Behavior Health hosted the event in which motorcycle riders began at the Protestant Chapel and followed a route that took them to several location including Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms, the Morongo Basin Sheriff’s Station in Joshua Tree and the a local location that assists victims of domestic violence. Representatives from each organization manned each station.
“At each location, the participants were given a brief on what each entity does for domestic violence victims or offenders,” said Jason Dickson, prevention education specialist, Behavioral Health. “There was a lot of information passed to the participating Marines that may help them reduce domestic violence in our community.”
The riders learned how the different organizations respond to domestic violence and how it impacts the community. Throughout the ride, participants drew playing cards to create a five-card hand of poker which presented the opportunity to win gift cards for the Marine Corps Exchange.
“This ride is for a good cause and I would love to see this become even bigger in the future,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Martinez, firefighting and rescue, Marine Wing Support Squadron 374. “Each location gave us great information to give to our Marines.”
At the conclusion of the ride, all the motorcyclists returned to the Combat Center Community Center to receive their last playing card and eat lunch.
“Over all we consider this event a success,” said June McDuffie, prevention education specialist, Behavioral Health. “This event went great. The participants learned something to take back with them. They told us it was fun and that they would love to come out and do it again. We are going to work harder next year make this event longer and bring more people out to participate.”