Humane Animal Welfare Society benefits from Ride for Rover event

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NEW BERLIN (WITI) -- More than 125 motorcyclists geared up for the fourth annual Ride for Rover poker run event, benefiting the Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS), on Saturday morning, August 17th.

"I'm gonna ride for the puppies!" said John York.

The ride kicked off at Hal's Harley-Davidson in New Berlin, sending participants to five different stops along the way. At each location, riders drew a playing card. The person with the best poker hand at the end of the day won a 50" flat-screen TV.

HAWS Development Coordinator, Jennifer Smieja, organizes the event each year with the help of several sponsors.

"What we do is serious. There isn't anything that we do that isn't emotional," said Smieja. "This is a fun way to support animals. This is a great way to have a good time for a good cause."

"Happy to be involved with it," said Kirk Topel, President of Hal's Harley-Davidson. "We're dog lovers and animal lovers out here."

Topel says the Ride for Rover also serves as a tune-up for Harley-Davidson's 110th Anniversary Celebration.

"With a big event like the anniversary coming here - just a few, short days ahead - any time you get a chance to tell them what we're doing, what our plans are, you gotta take advantage of it," said Topel.

HAWS volunteer Brian Dietsch sees the advantages for both the pets and riders involved.

"I'm helping out a good charity cause for the Humane Society and I get to ride," said Dietsch.

The Humane Animal Welfare Society hopes the Ride for Rover will raise more than $3,500, which will help support the organization's operations.