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Bikers make poker run to help Pee Dee humane societies

August 5, 2018

FLORENCE, S.C. — Motorcyclists hit the roads of the Pee Dee for a cause Saturday as they participated in the Grateful Dog Benefit Rally.

In years past the rally has coincided with the festival at Southern Hops but growth left organizers looking for a space solution so they broke up the events this year.

“It started as a way for us to honor the grateful dead on Jerry Garcia’s birthday. We’ve had a bike run every year,” said organizer Hayley Pleasant on Saturday morning as she oversaw registration at Black Jack Harley-Davidson. “We’ve kind of outgrown our space and we decided to separate our two festivals. So we had Grateful Dog last weekend at Southern Hops and bike ride today to Beyond Therapy.”

Pleasant said she expected about 100 riders to make the poker run that started at the dealership, hit several bars between Darlington and Olanta and ended up at the Florence bar off Second Loop Road near Cashua Drive.

This being the first year, Pleasant said, she didn’t have a feel for the turnout for the festivities on Second Loop, which included nine bands, an area for animals that included water stations, a tie-dye station for T-shirts, cold beverages, vendors and a groomer for the dogs.

The money raised by the ride and the rally will be split evenly between the Florence, Darlington and Marlboro County humane societies.

“As of last month Darlington County was putting animals to sleep because they just don’t have the money or the room for the animals,” Pleasant said.

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