MAYVILLE - Driving mowers around Mayville has become a yearly event in honor of Jack Carlson.
Participants in the annual Jack Carlson Memorial Lawn Mower Poker Run park their tractors at Mayville American Legion Post 493 - emulating what Carlson did for many years.
He mowed the lawns of neighbors and those of several people who couldn't do it themselves. Once he finished, he would drive his John Deere to the legion and park it. Soon after, other tractor riders, including his friends, joined him in the activity. Carlson was diagnosed with cancer and passed away, but the fundraising event that he inspired among others in the community continues in his memory, raising money for Hospice Chautauqua County.
The event continues to grow since its first year in memory of Carlson and his ritual. People from the community as well as surrounding areas come to take part.
'The first year we had around 40 participants," said Tom Przepiora, event organizer and a friend of Carlson's. "Then it increased last year to around 120 lawn mowers riding around having a ball."
Last year, the poker run raised over $8,100 for Hospice. The foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides leadership in the development and application of hospice and its philosophy of care. For more than 30 years, Hospice Chautauqua County has provided exceptional care to the residents of the county.
In the past year, Hospice has taken care of more than 625 patients and their families. All Hospice services are designed to help people achieve the highest possible quality of life. These services include medical care, emotional support, spiritual resources, music therapy, art therapy, massage and many more. All services are provided by highly trained staff who are experienced in end-of-life care, according to Hospice Chautauqua County.
On Sept. 6, the riding of lawn mowers will take place at the legion located on 144 S. Erie St., Mayville. Registration is $15 and will begin at 9 a.m. with the riding of lawn mowers starting at noon. The pack of lawn mowers will follow a course on Rails To Trails property, with a scheduled stop to draw their poker cards at area establishments before finishing at the legion.
Vendors will also be at the event along with auctions, Chinese auctions and 50/50 drawings. Food, drinks and giveaways will be held at the legion for riders and nonriders.
For additional information on how you can donate to hospice of Chautauqua County, visit www.hospicechautco.org or call 388-0033. For information on the mower poker run, contact the American Legion Post at 753-7591 or Tom Przepiora at 753-6090.