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Annual 'Keeper of the Keys' run will be held June 16

By Don Berry
Contributing writer
Posted on 5/9/2018, 1:00 AM

The weather is warming up and soon weekend recreational opportunities will be going on everywhere. One popular event in the area is the Saturday or Sunday Poker Run. These events started several years ago with motorcycles gathering at a starting point and riding to four other spots and drawing cards to make the best poker hand. Most of the stops were bars or places which served alcohol, but this began to pose a problem for drivers who wanted to have a drink but also safely make it back home.

This is where a nonprofit organization named "Love Abby" came up with a great idea. "Love Abby" was named after the founder's daughter, who was killed in a head-on collision with a drunken driver. Many of these runs were not limited to motorcycles, but included trucks, convertibles and Jeeps.

In an effort to raise awareness to the issue of drunken driving, as well as offering options to those who wish to drink, "Love Abby" has come up with a novel approach. They started in 2016 with a Jeep run with a twist. The run still made stops at bars but required the driver to abstain from drinking. It was a huge success. The Designated Driver or the Keeper of the Keys was no longer the odd person out driving their friends around, they became the heroes of the day. They were able to collect extra tickets for drawings, games, and prizes. In addition, they received free soft drinks and snacks all day long.

A surprise activity for the Keeper of the Keys was at each stop. The aim was to demonstrate that when you choose to drink, you should always have a designated driver. Everyone can go home safely and responsibly.

This year "Love Abby" will hold its third Keeper of the Keys event on June 16, on what would have been Abby's 23rd birthday. The organization is seeking corporate sponsors, private sponsors, and auction donations to help put on this event. They are also looking for Jeep drivers or any other kind of vehicle for the run.

The organization has used the money it has raised to provide for local children in need. Last year they helped hundreds of children with many items from school supplies to winter hats and gloves. They also gave out their first $1,000 scholarship to a local senior last year.

Early registration is now going on at www. through May 28. The cost for the Keeper of the Keys Driver is $15, each passenger is $25, the price includes a T-shirt and a meal. The run starts and ends at the American Legion Hall in Evansville with same day registration from 11 a.m. until noon.