Some 80 motorcyclists mounted up Saturday morning for the final Josh Davis Memorial Poker Run, a 10-year-running annual tribute to a Perry war hero who died while serving in the U.S. military.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Davis of Perry was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. Davis was a 2009 graduate of Perry High School. He was 19 at the time of his death.
“It is with mixed emotions that we announce it will be our final Poker Run,” said a spokesperson for the memorial event. “We will, however, ride to the Freedom Rock every Memorial Day in honor of Josh. We hope you will all come to help celebrate Josh’s life with us and help us support military-based organizations.”
The first stop was at the Josh Davis Memorial Plaza in downtown Perry, where military veterans were invited to add their names to the list on the newly installed mural
A prayer was then offered up for a safe ride and for all veterans of the U.S. military by Vietnam War veteran Jim Clark, state captain for the Patriot Guard Riders of Iowa.
The final destination on the 2020 poker run was the Iowa Veterans Cemetery in Van Meter, where Davis is interred.
All monies raised by the event support the Josh Davis Memorial Fund. The fund’s activities include the Josh Davis Award at Perry High School and the upkeep and maintenance of the Josh Davis Plaza in downtown Perry. Retrieving Freedom, a service-pet-training organization, also receives a portion of the charity donations.
“We greatly appreciate all the love and support over the years and hope we have spread Josh’s name and memory from coast to coast,” said the spokesperson.