The Mountain Rider Turtle Poker Run
Bikers roared in on Harleys and hogs from all over Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico and Kansas and passed the same, familiar symbol that tells the story of a communitys grief.The 11th Annual Mountain Rider Turtle Poker Run held at Apple Tree Park in New Castle on Saturday, May 5, attracted more than 500 bikers. The run is held every year in memory of Stella Tucker, 19, who was killed on County Road 335 in New Castle on Dec. 3, 1993, in a head-on collision by a driver who had been drinking.The kids nicknamed her Turtle because she was so slow, she had partial cerebral palsy, explained her father, Richard Tucker. She had a tough life growing up, Said Tucker.In April, the next year, the grief still fresh, the Tuckers started the Turtle Poker Run in Turtles memory. This year the event raised more than $5,700 for YouthZone, an organization in which Turtle had been involved.Tucker watched the motorcycles roll in around noon, half dozen at a time, each with a deep rumble or a belly growl from an engine that filled your heart and vibrated into your skin.Theyre great supporters. Its a brotherhood a family. Said Tucker.At the barbecue, Chuck Miller looked around at the bikers, most who wore custom leather, or club jackets.Theres a whole bunch of clubs here and thats unheard of. Everybodys wearing their colors and theyre all cool, they know its a charity event, everybody likes to help kids. said Miller. Theyre all here for one reason, to support the Turtle Run.How fitting then that each rider, on the way to the park, rode into the western sun, past the black steel cross that stands next to a road that connects them all.
From left, Chuck Miller of Colorado Springs, works for Qwest, Hot Rod, of Thornton is a fund-raiser and Richard Tucker of New Castle works for the Best Western Antlers Hotel in Glenwood.
From left, Mickey Tucker of New Castle works for Dr. Doherty, Kurt Wiederhold of Carbondale is a sub-contractor and Nancy Wiederhold works at Alpine Medical Group.
Ronde Crawford, left, of Battlement Mesa is a certified nursing assistant at Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home and Vivian Sirotek, also of Battlement Mesa is a cashier at Kum & Go.
From left, Diane Miller of New Castle works at City Market in Carbondale, Terri Beightel of Glenwood works for Colorado PoolScapes and Lori Boardman of New Castle works for Aspen Ski Tours.
Dave Strouse, left, of New Castle is a construction worker, Ross Talbott of New Castle, who is president of Talbott Enterprises, donated use of the park for the benefit and Doug Wilson of New Castle works at Pacific Sheet Metal.
Mel Hanson of New Castle is a contractor who rode his BMW and Steve Wilson of Rifle is deputy sheriff of Eagle County Sheriffs Department who rode his chopper.
Joe and Lea Carpenter of Silt. Joe works for Land Title Guarantee Company in Glenwood and Lea works for Burning Mountain Credit Union in Rifle.
The Hunter family of Rifle, clockwise from back, Paul, Anne, Wolfgang, 5, is in kindergarten at Highland Elementary School and Nevada, 9, is in fourth grade at Highland Elementary School.
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