What: Kids Cruz Poker Run benefit for the Boys and Girls Club of Bloomfield

When: 9 a.m. Saturday

Where: Starting line is at Farmer s Market, 816 N.M. Highway 516, Flora Vista. Finish line is at the Boys and Girls Club, 701 S. Second St., Bloomfield

Cost: $20 for first poker hand, includes barbecue dinner for two.

More info: Call 505-632-0123 or visit www.bloomfieldkids.org www.bloomfieldkids.org.

BLOOMFIELD — Here's something the Four Corners hasn't seen before: a 198-mile poker game on wheels to benefit kids.

The Kids' Cruz Poker Run will send players in their cars, motorcycles and trucks to places throughout San Juan County to draw a playing card from at least five businesses Saturday. A total of several businesses are participating.

The mobile poker game will benefit the Bloomfield Boys and Girls Club, which has struggled to keep its doors open in recent years.

The Blacktop Kreepers, a local car club, will host the event.

Chris Sigler, co-founder of the Kreepers, wanted to do something to help the Boys and Girls Club when he first heard its future was in jeopardy.

"One of our members has kids who belong (to the club), and I knew there was something we could do to support them," Sigler said. "Having a poker run of this magnitude is really rare and for a great cause, to keep the club's doors in Bloomfield open for those kids."

Sigler met Colleen Anderson, board president of the Boys and Girls Club, at a car show, and soon after, the two began preparations for the all-day event.

"I had taken in my "48 Plymouth Special Deluxe in for engine work and to get the upholstery redone and discovered so many people in the car community, including Chris," Anderson said. "His club was looking to do something to give back and I said, "What about Bloomfield kids? This could not have happened without his help.'"

The mix of car enthusiasts and youth from the club, is even better than a royal flush, Sigler said.

"I will always have something to do with the Boys and Girls Club," he said. "Remember that it's ultimately for the kids who need this special place where they go every week."

The club provides programs and activities for more than 900 youth every year.

Hoping to bring the car and motorcycle communities together for a worthy cause, Sigler said he just started making phone calls.
Members of the Bloomfield Boys and Girls Club pick their paint colors for kickstands to be used in the Kids’ Cruz Poker Run.
Members of the Bloomfield Boys and Girls Club pick their paint colors for kickstands to be used in the Kids' Cruz Poker Run. (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)
Sigler called all the car clubs he knows throughout the Four Corners and as far as Austin, Texas, to get help.

"Colleen was telling me last summer that they were having trouble deciding whether to keep the lights on or shut off the AC," Sigler said. "So the idea of having a full-on poker run with contests, tons of amazing food, a live band, car show and awards ceremony with a barbecue meal all came together with the help and donations of so many people and businesses. We're excited."

At each of the poker stops on Saturday, the seven local businesses will be offering special prizes, discounted items for purchase, raffle tickets and even a chance to win a Harley motorcycle, Anderson said.

Club kids will also be stationed at the various stops with carnival games.

After players turn in their poker cards, they can enter their vehicle in a car show outside the club on the soccer field.

The Cooltones, a Farmington retro-rock band, will ride in their signature black Cadillac to the Boys and Girls Club at 4 p.m. to entertain participants as they return to turn in their poker hands.

Mayor Scott Eckstein and Bloomfield Assistant Fire Chief John Mohler plan to take part in the event, serving as judges for the car show.

"This is the way communities come together, when someone's down you get together, big-time, and do everything you can to help," Sigler said. "Should be a whole lot of fun, too."

James Fenton can be reached at jfenton@daily-times.com; 505-564-4621. Follow him on Twitter @fentondt.