Charity Poker Run Set to Honor Dakota Rager of Belton, Kentucky
Dakota Rager, 24, of Belton, died on November 16th, 2015. He was a beloved family member, loyal friend, and coal miner with Armstrong Coal Company. He touched so many lives in the Muhlenberg County community. Since his passing, the family has been giving back in his name.
November 16th, 2015 is a day the Rager family will never forget. Dakota's parents, Paul and Donna Rager, and brother Justin were left to pick up the pieces after such a tragic loss. It's a loss that all of his family and friends will feel throughout their lives. As I began researching material for this article, I saw the same things written over and over again about Dakota. He's been described as handsome, stubborn, giving, strong, resilient, loyal, and sweet. The community will be mourning the loss for many years to come. Immediately after his death, those left behind knew they had to do something to honor his memory. They've been giving back in his name ever since!
I was awakened this evening by a phone call. I didn't believe the news I received. I got in my car and went straight to Paul and Donna's house. When I pulled in my heart dropped. It was true... you were gone. Tears were shed by everyone there. For the loss of such an amazing young man. Dakota Rager, you are loved by so many. The family will never be the same. Words can't express how I feel right now. Just praying for healing and support for the family. - Christy Wood shared on November 16th, 2015
TRIBUTES POURED IN FOR DAKOTA
It didn't take long for news to spread and tributes to start pouring in. The news sent shockwaves immediately within the family and the community. After a loved one passes away, it feels natural to show and express emotion on social media. It's a way to mourn his death with the friends and family that knew him best. Dakota most definitely will not be forgotten.
Tonight, I lost not only a best friend. But someone who has always been a brother to me. Dakota Rager, the memories and the great times that we have had together will never be forgotten. Rest easy little bro. In my heart, you'll always be. - Dee Sims
Still hard to believe you have gone, not a day has passed that I don't think of ya buddy. From working side by side underground at Lewis Creek mines, bike rallies, and the lake staying weekends on vacation. To all other good times. Miss ya Bro!! I will never forget ya! - Brian Smith
Words cannot express the pain and sorrow I feel, neither as they could yours. I pray you will find peace during this time of sorrow. Know that Dakota was a wonderful blessing to everyone's life he touched. His memories will never fade. - Amber DeArmond
SHARING BEAUTIFUL MEMORIES
Dakota, You were always there for me. You were the most generous, well-mannered, smart, caring, honest, and truly the most thoughtful guy I knew. You always took care of me. You looked after me like a little sister. You were like my bodyguard when it came to guys haha. I'll never forget you, your sweet smile and your welcoming arms around me with each hug you greeted me with every single time I saw you, and of course, our long motorcycle rides we had. I love you, Dakota. I'll miss you always. - Kallie Hardison
There was one time in high school I was hanging out with a guy, that let's just say I shouldn't have been. Dakota threatened him within an inch of his life for yelling at me. And every guy I hung out with after that, would always make it known he was watching! We spent so much time together growing up, and even though life got in the way and we didn't see each other or talk all the time, he was always one of the best cousins to have! - Whitney Naron
The first time I saw Kota was at the fair in 2011. I thought he was the most beautiful man I had ever seen. I crushed on him HARD for months, he came over and we watched The Notebook & he cried at the end. A full-blown relationship never came out of it, but a friendship did. He would come in and see me when I was serving at Mongos Chinese Buffet in Greenville and he'd always leave me a $100 bill under his plate. He had the biggest heart. He felt everything so deeply. I'll never forget my moments with him and the way I felt the first time I saw him. I'm thankful that I got to know him. - Mallory Paige Williams
Drew Johnson wrote this beautiful tribute on November 6th, 2018. When your best friend dies, he always holds a piece of your heart. It goes beyond mere grief.
The times we
Went rolling without knowing where we were going and
The world was ours but we didn't know it
So wild, so free, living eternally
Through memories of you and me, I'm thinking about
The times we had (Chillin' on a back road)
The times we had (Bumpin' something up on the radio)
The times we'll have
When I see you again, I'll always love you, little brother
And I'm thankful for the times we had.......I miss u little bro Dakota Rager
7TH ANNUAL LIL' RAGER MEMORIAL POKER RUN
Make plans to celebrate Dakota starting at 8 AM on Saturday, July 30th, 2022. You can enjoy great food, live music, and more. The schedule is jam-packed with fun!
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
* Sign-up is from 9-11 am
* Kickstands Up @ 11:15 am
* Round trip is estimated to be around 75-100 miles give or take.
* $20 per motor vehicle (extra hand may be purchased)
☆☆☆ALL STREET-LEGAL VEHICLES ARE WELCOME!!!
(Diesel trucks, cars, dune buggys, etc... NO ATV or golf carts)
* Will return at approximately 2:00 PM
* Bike & Car Show ($10.00 entry fee)
* 50/50 Drawing
* Live Auction
* Silent Auction
All proceeds go to Muhlenberg County Family Resources to help families in need to give children the Christmas they deserve. If you have any questions contact Cynthia Rager or Justin Rager.
Poker Run Happens at 3612 Merle Travis Hwy, Beechmont, KY 42323
Sending hugs, love, and prayers. I can’t imagine how you all feel. Know you are loved and prayed for. Kimberly Blake Meadows
I'm so sorry to hear this news. Special prayers, now and always, for you all. - Clint Allen
2021 6TH ANNUAL LIL' RAGER MEMORIAL POKER RUN
The Lil Rager Poker Run has donated $11,000 to the Muhlenberg County Human Resources for the 5 elementary schools. We gave them $2,200 a piece for each School for kids that don't get Christmas. We would like to thank all the businesses in the county. and all the people that showed up to make it possible from the people that donated money. This wouldn't be possible without everybody's help bikers are great people if everybody would give them a chance they do great things. We would like to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts for making this possible for the children. In the six years, we have been doing this we have donated $51,000 to the school. Like I said if it wasn't for the community and the businesses this wouldn't be possible. Thanks, everyone, we love you all. - Paul Rager
2020 5TH ANNUAL LIL' RAGER MEMORIAL POKER RUN
The Lil Rager Poker Run has donated $10,000 to the Muhlenberg County Human Resources for the 5 elementary schools. I gave them $2,000 a piece for each School for kids that don't get Christmas. We would like to thank all the businesses in the county. and all the people that showed up to make it possible from the people that donated money. This wouldn't be possible without everybody's help bikers are great people if everybody would give them a chance they do great things. We would like to thank everybody from the bottom of our hearts to make this possible for the children. - Paul Rager
Paul Daniel, Donna, and Justin, we are so sorry for the loss of your son and brother. He definitely was very loved by many every comment I have heard about Dakota has been nothing but great. Jordan spoke of him as a very dear friend who was loving and caring with a big Hugh heart, they were great friends. Little Kevin remembers riding bicycles with him and Drew Johnson when they were younger. I pray that God gives you all comfort and strength during this time. Kevin, Sandra, Lil Kevin, and Jordan Willoughby
On November 16th, 2021, Dakota's dad posted this message which speaks volumes.
6 years ago today We laid you to rest After your parade I love you and miss you. It just doesn't seem real. Until we meet again. - Paul Rager
In the photo I see heaven's light shining down to let you know Dakota is with you in spirit. I'll pray that in the years to come your grief feels lighter, you have less pain, your wounds continue to heal, and your journey becomes easier. Keep his memory alive and his love will stay with you for the rest of your lives. Hang tight to the ones you love. If you ever need anything, please let me know.
I'll leave you with this beautiful tribute from Lindsey Decker.
The Ones You Left Behind
(In Memory Of Dakota Rager)
Written By: Lindsey Decker
Things are not easy.
For the ones, you left behind.
But even though there's sorrow
So many memories come to mind.
You were sweet and kind-hearted
Your smile could light the room
Any girl would have been lucky
To have you as their groom
You showed compassion to so many
Always there for a friend
Looking out for others
All the way to the end
Along with the good came the bad
Biker boy image you would bring
But as cocky as you were
We wouldn't change a thing
You were loved by so many
If only you could see
Tears of joy and laughter
Ready for the man you were to be
Tears continue to fill our eyes
But now they're full of sorrow
Wishing to wake up
And see your face tomorrow
Things are not easy.
For the ones you left behind
But we hold onto the memories
You will forever be on our minds.
I've been praying for you guys this week. I heard a song tonight that reminds me so much of Dakota. You guys need to hear it. "Give Heaven Some Hell" by Hardy. - Chrissy Romans
Scenes from the 4th Annual Poker Run in 2019. It keeps on growing, and I hope this year is the best one yet!