EL PASO COUNTY — From the moment 11-year-old Gannon Stauch went missing earlier this year, the community has been there to help. As his case has unfolded with the arrest of his stepmother for murder, many people still want to show their support for the Stauch family.
Over 300 motorcycles hit the road Sunday in Gannon's honor and raised more than $7,000 during the "Justice for Gannon Independent Poker Run."
Those participating in the run said they thought of Gannon throughout the ride. "I didn't know him personally, but spiritually, you know he's touched everyone's hearts. This community is strong, it will always be strong, and Gannon will never be forgotten," said Rollande Glynn, who made a donation to the cause.
Members of the VFW Warriors District 5 volunteered their time to help with the event. "They contacted us and we wholeheartedly jumped in to do all the behind the scenes resources, put it all together, and help make it happen," said Terry Mullins, who served in the army for over 30 years.
Stephanie Conyers, the organizer of the poker run, said they decided to go ahead with this event despite the pandemic. While News5 was at the registration, we noticed several people not practicing social distancing. Conyers said she tried to spread them out, but it was difficult. "A little tight right here in this spot but the rest of the run should be pretty wide open," Conyers said.
Conyers did take precautions at the poker run. "We have hand sanitizer and sanitization wipes and stuff like that," Conyers said.
Face masks were encouraged, but not required for the poker run. Some people did wear them, but News5 saw many who did not. "If wearing a mask is going to save somebody's life and prevent the spread of all this, then we'll put a mask on," said Tracy Lewter, who wore a mask.
Regardless, the main message of the day was about Gannon and showing support for the Stauch family. While News5 was at Gannon's memorial site outside of Lorson Ranch, a woman was FaceTiming with Gannon's mother to show her the ride. Gannon's mother wanted to let everyone who participated know how grateful she is for their support, and she wished she could have been there.
There were five stops throughout the poker run: Frankie's at 945 N. Powers Blvd., O'Malley's at 104 CO-105, Dickey's BBQ at 1466 Garden of the Gods Road, Hot Rod Tattoo at 2344 S. Academy Blvd., and Big R at 165 Fontaine Blvd.
The event wrapped up with a memorial ride through the Lorson Ranch neighborhood, and concluded at Restoration Church in Fountain, the Stauch's church. All money raised during the event will be given to the church, which will distribute it to the family.