Poker Run important to Boys and Girls Club
By Sue Ellen Ross Post-Tribune corresondent July 17, 2012 1:20PM
AT A GLANCE
For more information about the Lake Station Boys and Girls Club, call (219) 963-9200.
The Lake Station Boys and Girls Club is a very popular place.
Numbers average 140 youngsters per day during the school year, and 180 during summer. Members come from more than just Lake Station; they also hail from Hobart and New Chicago. So it stands to reason that fundraisers are vital to daily operations.
Such was the case recently when a “Ride for a Child Poker Run” took place at L.F. Norton’s parking lot. Proceeds went to the Lake Station Boys and Girls Club.
Donna Gonzales, senior club director and coordinator with the Board of Managers for Lake Station, said about 70 bikes and 200 people were expected.
“This is our club’s biggest fundraiser of the year,” she said, adding that dozens of community groups, businesses and individuals also donated money. “The most enjoyable thing (about the event) is seeing new people and explaining what we do on a daily basis for the youth of Northwest Indiana.
“The money raised allows us to keep the doors open to provide a positive, safe place for the youth.”
The proceeds will help provide summer and after-school programs for more than 562 members.
Ronald Albin enjoys riding his motorcycle and has attended many events around town. But the Boys and Girls Club Poker Run was his first.
“I like to help support the community and organizations like this one,” he said.
During the 75-mile Poker Run, riders travel to five locations and get a poker card at each. After all stops are finished, the driver with the best poker hand wins.
Although there were no top prizes per se, except bragging rights, the event did include many raffle items, including gift certificates donated by groups, businesses and individuals.
Mary Jackman of Merrillville was shopping nearby, saw the tents and food table, and decided to see what was going on.
“Whenever we’re doing things on the weekends, we like to play it by ear and be spontaneous,” Jackman said of her family’s schedule. “There’s always something going on wherever we go and, if it’s a doing that is raising money for someone or something, all the better.”