February 3, 2016

Spend the day with your Valentine while helping sick and orphaned wildlife

Bike run fundraiser provides primary funding for wildlife rehab center

PHOENIX – It’s time to change up the same-old Valentine’s Day routine. Spend quality time on Sunday, Feb. 14 riding on the back of a motorcycle enjoying Arizona’s landscape with your Valentine, all while benefiting sick and orphaned wildlife.

Riders are invited to participate in the family-friendly “Bikers Soar for Wildlife Poker Run” that helps with the care and rehabilitation of animals at the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s Wildlife Center, and is hosted by the Wildlife Center’s Auxiliary.

“This fundraiser provides a large portion of the funding needed to treat sick or injured wild animals annually and to offer wildlife education programs for the public,” said Mike Demlong, conservation education program manager for the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “It’s a family-friendly event with activities for all ages, including the poker run, live wildlife, music, and prize raffle.”

Riders will enjoy approximately 100 miles of scenic Arizona, beginning at Arrowhead Harley Davidson at 16130 N. Arrowhead Fountains Center Dr. in Peoria and ending at the iconic Buffalo Chip Saloon at 6811 E. Cave Creek Rd. in Cave Creek. Throughout the route, riders will stop at designated locations to collect a playing card, with the high and low hands of five cards winning a prize at the end of the ride. Even the non-riders in the family can partake by joining riders after 12 p.m. to enjoy the activities at the final destination.

The tax-deductible cost to participate is $25 per rider or $35 per rider and passenger, with lunch provided to all registered riders. After Feb. 5, registration will increase to $30 per rider or $40 per rider and passenger. The first 200 registrants will receive a free event T-shirt and ride pin. Registration begins at 8 a.m. For more information and to register, visit the Wildlife Center’s volunteer auxiliary website at www.azwildlifecenter.net/events or call (623) 277-6929.

Founded in May 1983, the department’s Wildlife Center treats sick, injured and orphaned animals, and provides wildlife education to local schools and outreach to community groups. The center’s mission is carried out with a small budget from the state’s Heritage Fund, and public donations, making fundraising by the Auxiliary an important contributor to the care of the sick, injured and orphaned animals.