JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Humane Society of Cambria County is collaborating with Big House Produce to host the first-ever Ruff Riders Poker Run in partnership with Thunder in the Valley.
The Ruff Riders Poker Run will take place on Thursday, June 23 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. The collaborative effort comes from a group of organizers who are passionate about animals and eager to make a bigger impact for dogs, cats and even pigs in need.
Organizers said the Ruff Riders Poker Run will feature five stops, including Sargent’s Stadium at the Point in downtown Johnstown, Vale Wood Farms in Loretto, Cresson Sanatorium and Prison, Red’s Bar-B-Que in Portage and the Humane Society of Cambria County in Richland.
Registration fees are $15 per person and $25 per couple. Participants will draw cards at each stop to create their hand. The best poker hand wins $500. Pre-register online at bighouseproduct.com. All proceeds directly benefit the Humane Society of Cambria County.
Runners can enjoy ice cream and barbecue along the way. And, while visiting the sanatorium and the prison of Cresson to draw their map, the riders will have the opportunity to browse the mixture of historic buildings and prisons of the large site. Runners will end their run at the Humane Society of Cambria County where they will have the opportunity to meet adoptable pets. Ruff Riders Poker Run t-shirts will be available for purchase and light refreshments will be served.
It has been reported that the Humane Society of Cambria County and Big House products were brought together by a pig who was in desperate need of help. Moo, named by the Humane Society, was kept as a pet at a home in the town of Johnstown. She was extremely underweight as she was not properly fed to keep her from getting too fat for the house.
Moo was removed from the unfit living conditions and placed in a foster home where she received proper food and proper living space on a regular basis. It is reported that Moo quickly rebounded and transformed into a pig weighing over 100 pounds. Big House Produce supported Moo and adopted her.
Moo now lives with other pigs and farm animals at Big House Produce, an indoor hydroponic farming enterprise that operates the once abandoned Watercress Sanitarium and Prison. It also offers photography, history, and ghost-hunting tours of the over 100-year-old facility.
Big House Produce has adopted pigs, goats and sheep who now call Cresson Sanatorium and Prison home and will be able to enjoy their lives with plenty of space and friends as well as hydroponic vegetables to supplement their diet.
“Big House Produce first adopted goats to help manage the overgrowth in hard-to-mow areas,” said Lauren Freeman of Big House Produce. “But many of the Big House Produce team came on board with a soft spot for animals, some having grown up on farms and even one who previously worked in a zoo, so making room for some farm animals extra in need seemed natural. fit and a nice addition to our work.
Freeman said that after connecting with the Humane Society to adopt a new pig, Big House Produce was invited by a VisitJohnstown staff member who helps promote tourist attractions as well as volunteers from the Humane Society to help to a fundraising opportunity.
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“This exact fundraising opportunity has been discussed for years among several members of the shelter,” said Jessica Vamos of the Humane Society of Cambria County. “So being able to put our plan into action with the help of Big House Produce has been exciting! We’re seeing a drop in donations but an increase in animal numbers at this time of year. Opportunities like these for contributing funds, at this time, are crucial to allow us to continue our operations and our efforts to save lives.We are extremely grateful for the help of Big House Produce and the partnership we have now formed.
For more information on human society, visit cambriacountyhumanesociety.com.