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Deal Me In - Trek Sponsors Successful Event to Save the HOP

by Jill Erickson

This weekend more than 25 hardy runners and cyclists took on the challenge to find the winning poker hand in the first-ever Poker Run on the Blue.

"I wanted to see a ton of activity along the Blue River," explains Cameron Chambers, Assistant Manager Trek Bicycle of Lee's Summit. "I designed the route to show off some of my favorite places."

The chill couldn't keep these cyclists down. Participants enjoyed a beautiful fall ride while searching for their poker cards.

The event was part bike ride, part poker game and part fundraiser. Participants started the adventure at the Alex George Wetlands between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, to pick up their first poker card and the list of where to find the remaining four cards. The route had seven checkpoints and participants made their own route to get to them. Most routes averaged 20 miles long.

All donations to Heartland Conservation Alliance will be used to save the Heartland Overlook Preserve, aka the HOP. This 40-acre oak hickory woodland was purchased at a public auction last fall and saved from future development. Now, Heartland Conservation Alliance is raising funds to repay the generous loan from The Conservation Fund.

"Protecting this land for future trails is so important to our community," shared June Kowski, Trek Bicycles. "This isn't just for cyclists, but runners, and walkers and nature lovers of all kinds."

Trek matched every dollar raised by the event, helping us meet our goal and raise $5,022.50 with 67 participating.

After finding five cards, the poker players returned to the wetland to return their hand. The winning hands (all four of a kind) were Liam Moore, Melissa Estelle and Jean Gorton.

The family that rides together, wins together.

"What better way to show your support of the awesome trails than to spend a day outdoors exploring the Blue River," said Cameron. "By riding in this event, you've helped us protect the places we love, for years to come."

More than ever, we can't take nature for granted. Heartland Conservation Alliance was created in 2013 by a group of citizens trying to save land from unsustainable development. In the KC metro area, it is predicted that new development will consume 100,000 acres in the next 20 years. It is essential for our city's vitality and our community's health that we protect nature by educating our elected officials, landowners, and neighbors.

About Trek Bicycle of Lee's Summit:

Trek Bicycle Lee’s Summit is your destination for the latest products from Trek and Bontrager, service and tune-ups for bikes of any brand, and weekly group rides for riders of all levels. We’re new to Lee’s Summit and are proud to add to a growing community that is quickly becoming well-known as a great place for cyclists to visit and live. We’re also happy to have assisted in building many trails in the metro area, including Swope Park and Blue River. Our staff has decades of cycling experience and we love utilizing our knowledge to get more people on bikes. Whether you’re passionate about single track, want to challenge yourself on technical trails, or just want a leisurely ride with a view, Lee’s Summit has everything you need for a great ride. Stop in to say hi! We can’t wait to meet you!

Zac Loehr of Trek Bicycles stands between two winners from the day: Melissa Estelle (left) won 2nd and Jean Gorton (right) won 3rd.

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