Jeeps roll out from Paintsville for KSP benefit Poker Run

The Johnson County Jeep Club hosted its third annual KSP Memorial Trooper Island Poker Run Saturday, hosting 18 total Jeeps, whose drivers made a day-long journey to raise money for the event’s namesake and honor the fallen troopers of the KSP. Live entertainment, door prizes, and a competition were enjoyed by attendees. The subpar weather Saturday didn’t affect the spirits of those in attendance, according to JCJC Secretary/Treasurer Connie Blevins.

The Johnson County Jeep Club met up with members and other Jeep enthusiasts Saturday to take part in the third annual Kentucky State Police Memorial Trooper Island Poker Run in observance of KSP Fallen Trooper Memorial Week and raising funds for KSP’s Trooper Island summer camp for kids.

According to JCJC Secretary/Treasurer Connie Blevins, members from two other Jeep-based organizations came out in support, including members from the West Virginia Jeep Club and the East Kentucky Ridge Runners, totaling 18 Jeeps in attendance, and all proceeds from the event went to KSP’s Trooper Island. The trip began at the Paintsville Walmart and ended at the Mountain Homeplace Ampitheater in the Pines, where live musical entertainment was provided by Branden Martin and Emma Stephens.

Blevins said rain on Saturday affected turnout, which was down from last year’s 56 Jeeps (which stretched more than a mile long), but there was still plenty of fun to be had.

“The rain affected our turnout, but it didn’t dampen our spirits,” Blevins said. “The entertainment was awesome and both artists came at no charge to show their support for Trooper Island.”

First place in the poker run went to April Collins, with Jacob Johnson taking second and Mark Stephens taking third place. According to Blevins, the worst hand went to Diane Owens and Kevin Bryant traveled the farthest for the event.

Door prizes totaling nearly $900 were given out at the event, and Blevins said the JCJC wanted to thank its plethora of sponsors for the event.

“We want to give a huge thank you to our sponsors, including Hutch Chrysler, Dodge Jeep Ram, Exxon Buckmart, Wildcat Tire and Auto, Foothills Telephone, Ritz Auto Sales, Mays Carpet, Bocook Engineering, Smokin’ Butts, Rough Country, K94.7, Wal-Mart, Food City of South Williamson, Erica’s Variety Store, Advance Auto Parts, Oriellys, Grim Bothers, Bowie Tactical, Full Throttle Detail, BigAss Customs, Bowie Tactical, spiderweb shade, Paintsville Masonic Lodge, Ramada, 4wd performance, Billy Rays Restaurant, Texas Roadhouse, Trail RTC Fabricators, KAM mechanics, Mineshaft Harley Davidson of Pikeville and East Kentucky Signs and Apparel,” Blevins said. “We also want to give a huge thank you to the KSP troopers who made this ride a safe and memorable one. Steve Mounts, Jamie Fields, Jordan Blankenship, Karin Caudill, Dewight Isaac and John Kerns.”

The total amount raised by the event has not been tallied yet, as the Jeep Club is still selling T-shirts to support the cause. For information on the T-shirts, contact Blevins by phone at, (606) 615-3615, or contact the Johnson County Jeep Club on Facebook.

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