DARKE COUNTY — After Allen Whittaker announced that last year’s eighth annual Sarah Run would be the last, he was approached by Monty Sharp, treasurer of Treaty City Motorcycle Club, asking if the club could have those dates for their poker run this year.
Sharp told Whittaker that his significant other, Christene Subler, is volunteer manager at State of the Heart Care and that the proceeds would benefit patient care of Ohio and Indiana Hospice patients.
Whittaker obliged, and now that run — “Working Together to Make a Difference” Hospice Benefit Run — will be June 11 at the clubhouse, 7270 Motorcycle Drive, Greenville.
The Grand Tour sign-up will be at 9 a.m. with the first bike out at 10 a.m., and the regular route sign-up will also be at 9 a.m. with the first bike out at noon. Cost is $20 single/$30 double, which includes meal and deejay at the after party from 6 p.m. to midnight. Sign-up and start are at the clubhouse.
“While we had a two-day event, they will have a one-day event,” said Whittaker. “Our turnout last year was 293 people riding in it. Last year was the best year.”
Those taking part this year will get the route sheet the day of the run.
The Sarah Run, Whittaker said, was held for eight years and raised more than $64,000 for scholarships.
The reason the Sarah Run stopped, he said, was because it is now reached the endowment level, but indicated the money in there will keep it going on forever.
“We had to have $25,000 for it to be an endowment,” Whittaker explained in an earlier interview. “Now, they get 5 percent of what we have. Katelyn Goettemoeller got the scholarship last year.”
Other recipients have been Katelynn Crandall, Mason Perez, Paul Schlecty and Thomas Shaw.
The Sarah Run scholarships go to 4-H and FFA members and they can’t have over a B average.
“Sarah had to work her butt off to get a B,” he said last year.
Whittaker is happy that this year’s June 11 poker run proceeds will be going to Hospice.
“Hospice took care of my mother and father-in-law,” he said. “Hospice affects every family and friends. Hospice is always there if only in the background.”
Subler said State of the Heart Care is excited about the new poker run.
“If you don’t ride, you can still come out,” she said. “We’ll have the Triple Shot Band and a deejay.”
“You can participate in cars, on horses….you’re welcome anyway,” Whittaker added.
The Sarah Run Fund started at her death on Jan. 6, 2008, the day she completed suicide.
Whittaker, who obtained custody of his three children in 2003, said Sarah was his youngest. He also has Joshua, now 28, and Jacob, 26,
They are not real sure why Sarah, who had not quite turned 17, opted to take her own life.
According to him, she went out to do her chores in the barn and that’s when she took her own life. And, nobody has a clue that she was even contemplating suicide.
“She was the first one to volunteer for anything and one of the most outgoing girls you’d want to meet,” he said. “She was going to a counselor at the time for some personal issues and the counselor didn’t see it coming at all.”
Sarah would have graduated in 2009.