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Cape comes together to raise funds for local business owner

By Staff | Oct 23, 2015

Organized to help a local woman who’s always giving back to her community, friends, family, acquaintances, several Southwest Florida motorcycle clubs and Crossroads bar patrons have united to host a benefit motorcycle poker run Sunday, Oct. 25, to help owner Vicki Young get back on her feet after recently enduring a debilitating car accident.

The run will hit big hot spots around Cape Coral and North Fort Myers Sunday, beginning with registration at 10 a.m. at the 211 Hancock Bridge Parkway location, and the first bike out at 11:30 a.m.

“Vicki was a longtime employee of the Lani Kai Beach Resort, on Fort Myers Beach, before she decided to go on her own and open Crossroads she’s an extremely hard worker, runs the whole bar on her own, seven days a week and rarely takes a day off,” said Paula Towell, longtime friend of Young’s, and fellow biker. “She hosts lots of charity events at her bar, always accommodating for benefit bike runs and charities, so everyone’s getting together to help her out.”

Towell explained Young was on her way to make a bank deposit when she veered out of the way to avoid a car from hitting her. She then veered in the opposite direction to avoid another car, causing her car to flip, ejected from the window and the vehicle rolling on top of her, resulting in many broken ribs, collapsed lungs, staples in her head, many bruises and abrasions. “She was just released from ICU a week ago, but still has a long way ahead for full recovery,” Towell said.

In the meantime, medical bills continue to pile up, and Towell said Young has had to rely on additional help to work the bar in her absence. “We’re hosting these runs to help her with all of these bills piling up,” Towell said.

Each stop that day will offer specials, raffles, prizes, 50/50s and other contests, fun and games, not to mention receiving playing cards that will be used for participants’ poker hand(s).

The first stop of Sunday’s benefit poker run will be the Nauti Parrot (North Fort Myers), featuring $1 blood marys, $2 screwdrivers and $3 mimosas. From there, bikers will stop by Orioles (North Fort Myers) and may enjoy a $2 blood mary special, then the Shell Factory (North Fort Myers), with $1 domestic drafts, finishing off at Ralph’s Place (Cape Coral), offering $2 pint-sized domestic drafts, before riding back to Crossroads, with the last bike in at 4 p.m. The benefit will be finished off with live music until 8 p.m. from local rock bands Bite the Bullet and Moon Child, who’ve both donated their time to perform that evening.

The cost to ride is $20 per rider, $5 per passenger.

“It’s so nice to see the community giving back to help Vicki during this difficult time,” said Lisa McHugh, longtime bartender of the Cape Coral lounge. “She always donates, gives gift certificates for other runs in the community. She’s very loved. She even does a free Thanksgiving buffet every year, making five turkeys, three hams, everyone bringing other dishes, it’s a potluck, a huge Thanksgiving feast at the lounge. We have a really great group of customers, and it’s just so great to have the support of everyone to help her. She’s a hard-working woman, has been all her life, putting in 100, 120 hours a week here.”

McHugh is also proud to mention, as their way of helping during this rough time of recovery, many of Young’s patrons have been coming by, donating their time and materials, to help spruce up the bar while she’s out. “She came by yesterday and just let out tears of joy when she saw that,” the establishment’s lead bartender said.

If interested in making a donation to the raffle prizes offered that day, or a monetary donation to go directly to the cause, stop by Crossroads anytime, or call 239-458-0648.