Meet the woman behind many Tri-Cities Poker Runs - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Meet the woman behind many Tri-Cities Poker Runs

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WEST RICHLAND, Wash.--  She's hosted six poker runs and numerous other charity events, raising thousands of dollars for children with medical problems, but not many people know who she is.

Janis Clardy is a bartender at Ty's in West Richland.  She's worked there for many years and been able to use her job to gather people and donations to help children such as Cooper Larson, Aiden, and Matthew.  Janis has organized special events that have gotten more than 400 bikers together and raised thousands of dollars.

Clardy's regular customer and now good friend, Jomi Gross, has been to many of the poker runs and pitched in.  Gross says, "There's a silent hero out here, looking after children and their families."

Clardy explains, "The first year was fun and it was a business builder and the second one touched my heart and every year since then I've made new little friends."

This year, Janis's little friend is close to her heart, the granddaughter of Gross, Lyla.  Gross says, "My granddaughter, who just turned 6 in March, has some serious issues and has already been to Spokane numerous times.  She's already had 1 surgery before."  Doctors are still trying to figure out exactly what's wrong with Lyla's eye and have found a small lesion in her brain. Her next step will be visiting doctors in Seattle, which costs money in both the doctors visits and travel expenses.

The poker run for Lyla is Sunday, April 18.  It'll start at Ty's in West Richland on Van Giesen street.  Sign up is at 10:00 am and the ride starts at noon.