After 23 years, the Poker Walk reached its finish line.
Forty-nine participants of all ages took part in the Tuesday, Aug. 13 event. They departed from Hughes Shelter in Chahinkapa Park, Wahpeton, traveling through the park and riverside neighborhoods in Wahpeton and Breckenridge, Minnesota.
The event, which began at 6 p.m., was expected to conclude at 8 p.m. Because of this, walkers avoided evening rain. There was no registration fee but participants were asked to bring an item for the Richland Wilkin Food Pantry.
“We collected 97 pounds of food,” said Judy Oren of Southern Valley Health Watch.
Southern Valley Health Watch, which sponsored the Poker Walk since its inception, will not continue the event. The organization itself is expected to phase out in the near future.
Several winners were honored at the Poker Walk. Vickie Medenwaldt, whose five-card hand included three sevens, won a bike.
Clarice Andrus, who came in second place, won a raised garden planter from Tractor Supply Company. Sue Jansen, who came in third place, won a 30-minute massage from Intuitive Touch Massage.
Similar to a game of poker, the walk’s objective was for participants to have the best five-card hand. The only rule was that youth must be ambulatory.
Cameron Riebe, whose hand included three threes, won a birthday party package from Terrace Lanes and Alley Cat Bar & Casino.
Since the 1980s, Southern Valley Health Watch has worked to improve residents’ quality of life, encourage lifestyle changes and provide a safe, supportive environment.
The Poker Walk, Oren said previously, has been a fun summer tradition.