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Poker Run participants ‘bet’ on Ollie’s Army, foundation

The Ollie’s Army Poker Run held this past weekend was a huge success, organizer Lynsey Williams Dubose said.

“We sold 201 poker hands,” she said. ‘That’s $4,020 in poker hands alone.”

Dubose organized Ollie’s Army and the fund-raiser in honor of her daughter, 3-month-old Ollie Pearl Dubose, who was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when she was about four weeks old. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited chronic disease that affects the lungs and digestive system of about 30,000 children and adults in the United States.

Dubose formed a non-profit organization, Ollie’s Army, to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. She said she wanted to be a part of finding better treatments for children like her daughter.

While Ollie Pearl and others with the chronic disease must be hyper-conscious of the possibility of lung infections, the diseases won’t stop her from participating in sports or other activities as she grows up.

This past weekend’s Poker Run, held at Gantt, was the first fundraiser.

Dubose said when the boats started arriving for the Poker Run about 1 Saturday afternoon, she was shocked and relieved.

“Since it was our first year, we really didn’t know how to judge it,” she said.

The event was so successful, the group plans to repeat it next year.

In addition to the Poker Run, Dubose and the army she’s organized are selling t-shirts for $15; Ollie’s Army “Fighting to end CF” bracelets for $2; and Kid’s Army Treat bags for $5.

She also has a team participating in the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s Great Strides walk event. The group plans to walk in a Great Strides walk in Crestview on Oct. 3.

To support the walk effort, supporters may contribute to Ollie’s Army online by going to the Cystic Fibrosis Web site at www.cff.org. Click on “Great Strides,” then “find a walker” and search for Lynsey Dubose in Alabama.

Contributions also may be mailed to Ollie’s Army at P.O. Box 22, Andalusia, AL 36420. Checks can be made to Ollie’s Army or to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.