October 27, 2009
Liberty Municipal Airport Hosts 2009 Trick-or-Treat Poker Run
by Mike Ely and Linda Street-Ely
Liberty Municipal Airport will be the location for the start of the 2009 Trick-or-Treat Poker Run, Saturday, October 31st, and the public is invited. What is a Poker Run? Glad you asked that! A pilot’s Poker Run is a fun flying event where pilots fly to certain airports to collect cards to complete a poker hand. Pilots must stop at each successive airport, turn off the engine, go to the designated area and request their poker card. They receive each card in a sealed envelope, and at the last airport, “the finish line”, all hands are collected and judges determine the winner by best hand. Usually five airports participate in a Poker Run, although sometimes seven are used to give players an opportunity to trade in a card.
The 2009 Trick-or-Treat Poker Run begins in Liberty and flies, in order, to Brazoria County Airport, Galveston Airport, West Houston Airport, and finishing at the Williams Airport in Porter, where lunch will be served, and winning prizes handed out.
Here in Liberty, pilots will attend a briefing at 9 a.m. For those flying in the Poker Run, poker hands are $10 each. The event includes a fun landmark identification contest for passengers, which may also be used as a tie-breaker in the event of a tie.
Who benefits? Several non-profit organizations do. First, the Liberty-Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to represent the area and all there is to see and do here. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase our area, our businesses and organizations, our Chamber, and our airport. Member businesses are encouraged to participate by coming out to the airport and greeting visitors, and contributing to the goody bags with coupons, samples, or other items that will invite visitors back to Liberty. Local businesses will benefit from out-of-town visitors knowing about what’s available in our area.
Also benefiting will be the Lions Club and the Ninety-Nines, both charity-driven non-profit entities. Here in Liberty, a pancake breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. by the Liberty Lions Club, with area Boy Scouts assisting, for a cost of $7 per plate. The Lions Club supports many and varied charity causes, including a camp for children, seeing-eye dogs for the blind, the Flag program in Liberty, thousands of dollars in scholarships, and many other great causes.
Katie Jarrett, manager of the Williams Airport in Porter contacted fellow Airport Support Network member, Linda Street-Ely, of Liberty, and asked if she would be interested in assisting with a Poker Run. The idea grew out of a mutual effort to promote area Chambers of Commerce with a “Pilot Pass” coupon program. As a member of the Ninety-Nines, an international women pilots’ organization, Linda secured sponsorship of the event. The Ninety-Nines is a non-profit organization that supports several charity and community programs, including Able Flight, a program dedicated to teaching people with disabilities to fly. A recent graduate from Able Flight is Jessica Cox, who “didn't let being born without arms keep her from meeting the challenge of earning a pilot certificate.” www.AbleFlight.com says, “The Able Flight Scholarship winner passed her checkride Friday October 10th, 2008 after several months of training with instructor Parrish Traweek in his Ercoupe 415C. With its unique control system, the Ercoupe proved to be the right airplane for her to fly using only her feet (she does not use prosthetic arms). Of her experience in becoming a pilot, Jessica said, ‘I highly encourage people with disabilities to consider flying. It not only empowers you but also helps others realize that people with disabilities are adept at attaining privileges that a small percentage of society takes part in. It helps reverse the stereotype that people with disabilities are powerless into the belief that they are powerful and capable of setting high goals and achieving them. What is most incredible about Able Flight is the relentless faith and support not only from the board but also from the other pilots who have succeeded in the program. The camaraderie is exceptional. Thank you Able Flight for helping me make history as the first licensed pilot to fly with only her feet!’"
Come out and support these worthy causes and have fun while you're at it – and feel free to dress up in costume if you wish, 8 a.m. – 9:30 a.m., Saturday, October 31st.