Giving Back

Somerville Elks Poker Run on Sunday Will Help Pay Medical Expenses for 4-Year-Old Boy

Ben Falcone

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – A motorcycle 'poker run' to raise money to help out a 4-year-old boy and his parents with medical expenses will take riders on a 73-mile scenic ride through Somerset and Hunterdon counties Sunday morning, June 26th.

Sponsored by the Somerville Elks Lodge #1068 Motorcycle Committee, under the auspices of the Somerville Elks Charitable Trust, the poker run will include stops at the Hillsborough/Manville Elks Lodge, Flemington Elks Lodge and Clinton Elks Lodge, before circling back to the Somerville Elks Lodge, located on Route 28 in Bridgewater.

Riders will be given a playing card at the start and finish of the Poker Run by the Somerville Elks, and one card at each of the other three stops to make up the five-card poker hand. The rider with the best hand will receive a grand prize of gift cards.

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Riders can register anytime between 10-11:30 a.m. and head out on their bikes individually or in small groups. Registration fee is $20. The event will be held rain or shine.

In addition to the Elks Lodges, Jack’s Kids volunteers are also supporting the event.

A party is scheduled from noon-4 p.m. in Bridgewater. The public is also invited to attend; non-riders are welcome.

Ben Falcone, a 4-year-old boy from Martinsville, is diagnosed with Tracheal & Laryngeal Malaysia and Mediterranean Fever Syndrome. He has required over 65 hospital visits and is now undergoing outpatient treatment for what will be the foreseeable future, according to Phil Decker, president of the Elks motorcycle club.

“The outcome of the treatment is unknown, but his parents, John and Carrie, remain hopeful,” Decker said. “As you can imagine, treatment costs are a significant financial burden to the family.”

Part of the fundraising efforts during the event will be a 50-50 drawing with a Tricky Tray auction.  The Elks are seeking donations of gift cards or merchandise or services that can be used as prizes. The Trust is a 501.c.3 non-profit organization and donations are tax deductible.

“The larger the gift, the more money we can raise to help with Ben’s deepening medical and care expenses,” Decker said. “Our goal is to solicit enough gift cards to run a Tricky Tray event and also have $400 worth of cards for a raffle at the event,” he added.

Gift baskets and/or prize items valued at least $50 are also needed. All donations will be recognized with signage at the event, according to Decker.

Further information is available by contacting Decker at (908) 625-1899 or  Christine Rose at 908-625-8136.

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