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Somerville Elks Motorcycle Committee Sponsors 'Poker Run for Ben' to Defray Family's Medical Expenses

Ben Falcone, at right, with his older brother Jack. Credits: Courtesy Somerville Elks
Credits: Courtesy Somerville Elks

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerville Elks Lodge #1068 Motorcycle Committee will sponsor its II annual "Poker Run for Ben" on Sunday, June 25, with registration beginning at 10 a.m.

The Somerville Elks Lodge is located at 375 Union Ave. in Bridgewater.

Ben Falcone, a 5-year-old boy from Martinsville, was diagnosed shortly after birth with Tracheal & Laryngeal Malaysia and Mediterranean Fever Syndrome. He has required over 85 hospital visits and has been undergoing continuous outpatient treatment, with significant medical bills. The long-range outcome of the treatments is unknown, but he has shown some progress.  His parents, John and Carrie, remain hopeful.

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“As you can imagine, treatment costs present a huge financial burden to the family,” said Phil Decker, president of the Motorcycle Committee.

Proceeds from the Poker Run will help the family meet some of those expenses, according to Decker.

Registration is $20 per bike, and $15 for riders. Admission to the lunch afterwards for non-participants is $15.

Riders will be handed directions for the run during registration; they’ll begin the 65-70 mile trek which will take them through Somerset and Hunterdon counties. Each rider will select a playing card  from a deck of 52 during registration. A five-card hand will be built, with riders selecting cards at three stops during the run – The Hillsborough/Manville Elks Lodge, the Clinton Elks Lodge and the Flemington Elks Lodge. The fifth card will be selected when they return to the starting point. The best five-card hand will win $250, according to Decker.

Refreshments will be served between noon-4 p.m. in the patio area behind the Elks Lodge, with music provided by a DJ.

Last year, there were 72 riders, with 125 people gathered afterwards at the lodge; together, they raised $3,000 for the Falcone family.

The Poker Run is being held under the auspices of the Somerville Elks Lodge #1068 Charitable Trust; all donations are tax deductible. 

Decker is asking restaurants and businesses to donate gift certificates that will be raffled and used in a Tricky Tray to help raise more money for the family. All donations will be acknowledged with signage at the event and on the Elks’ Facebook page.

The Elks Motorcycle Committee is an organization of men and women who ride for charity, personifying the Elks Care - Elks Share motto of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks.

Contact Decker at (908)458-6102 or Addie Pelican, (908) 334-6120 for more information about the event and how to help. Donations can be picked up by members of the Elks Motorcycle Committee.

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