The Coarsegold-based motorcycle club Sierra Shadow Casters is hosting a “poker run” on June 6 for critically injured Capt. Pete Dern of the Fresno Fire Dept.
The 75-mile ride, endorsed by Fresno Firefighters Local 753, is expected to attract hundreds of riders from the central San Joaquin Valley as well as other cities throughout California.
Participants will leave the Starbucks at River View Shopping Center in north Fresno and make several card draw stops along the way, including Gulianos Fruits Nuts and Vegetables, Coarsegold Historic Village, Pines Resort, Buckhorn Saloon and finally The Roadhouse in Friant.
At The Roadhouse, riders will be provided with a tri-tip lunch, live music, and a chance to win a 55-inch LCD Smart TV donated by Sam’s Club.
The motorcycle club is seeking anyone who rides a motorcycle in hopes of raising several thousand dollars for Dern, who was critically injured while venting a roof on a Fresno house fire in late March. The 49-year-old fell through a collapsed roof into a burning garage. Within minutes he was rescued, but not until sustaining second- and third-degree burns over 65% of his body. Dern is undergoing treatment in the burn unit at Fresno Community Regional Medical Center.
Dern continues to heal after multiple surgeries for his burn injury, said Sandra Yovino, clinical director at the Leon S. Peters Burn Center. Two weeks ago, he had surgery for placement of skin grown from his own uninjured skin, and although fragile, his body has accepted the skin grafts, she said. Dern faces multiple surgeries. His next surgeries will focus on his hands and lower back.
The fire captain has been able to walk outside his hospital room to visit with nurses at the nursing station. “He is extremely motivated, being an example for others with his type of injury,” Yovino said. “He is an inspiration to the medical team.”
Sierra Shadow spokesman Paul Hall said: “While there have been many wonderful community fundraising events for Capt. Dern, we hope to show him and all firefighters how much the biker community appreciates their tireless efforts to protect our families.
“I don’t know if I would walk on the roof of a burning building,” Hall added, “but I will certainly go on a motorcycle ride to support someone who does.”
Bikers who wish to take part in this charitable ride are encouraged to register online at www.sierrashadowcasters.com. Registration fees are tax deductible.