By Tim Kalinowski
About three dozen bikers took part in the first annual Urban Bulldogs Against Kids Abuse (UBAKA) Poker Run on Saturday morning. The money from the Poker Run was donated to Redcliff Youth Centre. The Poker Run began at 11 a.m. at Eagle Butte High School and ended with a community barbecue in Redcliff at the Youth Centre.
The Medicine Hat chapter of UBAKA started up last year in Cypress County. President Morgan “Nameless” Tory explained the club’s mission.
“We’re against kids abuse, and we are also starting our anti-bullying program,” said Tory. “We want to be able to help kids that have been abused. A lot of our member base down here have come from troubled homes themselves. We want to help. What we do, typically, is when someone calls us up, either through Child Protective Services or directly themselves, we will go there and sit with the kids and stand guard outside the house if we need to; to make the child feel safe.”
Raising awareness of child abuse and working in partnership with local kids help organizations is also part of UBAKA’s mission, said Tory, and that’s why the Redcliff Youth Centre was chosen as the beneficiary of this year’s inaugural Poker Run.
“At the Youth Centre they don’t have a lot of funding,” explained Tory. “One of the main things we like about them is they actually keep kids off the street. They give them somewhere to go. To us, it just seemed it was a good place to start and get out there and help.”
Danielle Lank, program coordinator with the Redcliff Youth Centre, was grateful for UBAKA’s support.
“For us a huge thing is being immersed in the community,” said Lank. “We’re a non-profit so we are always applying for grants and trying to look for ways to keep our programs free for everyone. It’s really great when someone in the community can come forward and do something like this for us.”