Poker run raises money for medical expenses of biker ‘Skeeter’ Wilson

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 1, 2001

Patrons parked their bikes outside the Blue Cat and headed in to join their friends, who were crowded into the bar, sipping cold drinks greeting each other with slaps on the back.

It could have been a typical Saturday afternoon gathering -except this time, it was for a cause.

Friends of Edward &uot;Skeeter&uot; Wilson, who was injured in April in a fall at International Paper’s Natchez mill, gathered to hold a poker run and auction Saturday to help pay for his medical and related expenses.

&uot;Me and Skeeter have been buddies for 40 years, ever since school. We’ve hunted and fished and worked together … for years,&uot; said Jim Elveston of Natchez. &uot;Any time anyone needs help, he’s right there. I’ve never known him to turn anybody down. And now we’re there for him.&uot;

As of noon Saturday, 49 people had signed up at the Blue Cat Lounge for the poker run, paying $15 each or $25 per couple to participate.

But more than 300 people were expected to join in before the event was through, said Margie Burlison, an organizer of the event and manager at the Blue Cat.

&uot;I don’t know many people in Adams County who don’t know Skeeter,&uot;&160;Burlison said.

In a poker run, bikers ride to several different locations, picking up a card at each one. At the end of the ride, they see what sort of poker hands they have, and prizes are awarded to those with the highest and lowest hands.

Saturday’s run included stops at the Landing in Monterey, Gators in Jonesville, Slim’s Lounge on U.S. 84 between Ferriday and Vidalia and the Steele Horse in Natchez.

The Blue Cat sponsored the run along with the River Cities Chapter of American Bikers Active Towards Education (ABATE) of Mississippi and the Krewe of Alpheus.

Karen Huckin of ABATE said Wilson always makes deer stands to donate as raffle prizes for ABATE’s charity events.

The River Cities Chapter has three major events each year -the annual Toy Run, a run for Feed the Hungry and an Air Show to benefit the Sunshine Shelter – as well as other smaller charity events.

&uot;He’s been a great supporter of ours,&uot; Huckin said. &uot;He’s always worked to help others.&uot;

Wilson is also a member of the Krewe of Alpheus, most recently serving as a duke.

&uot;Not only is he a generous person, but he has genuine caring for other people,&uot;&160;said Diana Glaze, president of the Krewe of Alpheus.