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Poker run to benefit program that counsels child victims of sex abuse

POSTED: April 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Bikers will play poker Saturday around Gainesville, but they’ll do so for a good cause.

The Third Annual Poker Run, which raises funds for Family Relations Program Inc. in Gainesville, is sponsored by the local chapter of the Association of Recovering Motorcyclists.

There is a $15 entry fee to join the ride, which is not exclusive to members of the association. Registration begins at 1 p.m. in the parking lot of First Baptist Church on Green Street in Gainesville. Bikes will line up at 1:30 p.m. in the parking lot and will leave at 2 p.m.

Bikers will have three stops along the route where they can buy playing cards for $10 each. The winning poker hand at the end of the ride will win a cash prize. A free cookout will be held following the ride at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church.

In its first year, the event raised some $250, according to Rebecca Davis, Family Relations’ executive director. Last year, the Poker Run raised $750, and organizers are hoping to exceed $1,000 this year, Davis said.

"While that might sound small for a fundraising event, these men are not professional fundraisers," Davis said. "They organize the event independently, and they are very proud of the contribution they make to our program."

She said the members of the motorcycle group, which is a worldwide association of riders who are recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction, approached Family Relations about the desire to raise funds.

"The funds that are raised help us provide these services that we do for the community," Davis said.

Family Relations is a nonprofit organization started in 1987 to provide free counseling for children who have been victims of sexual abuse, as well as treatment for children identified with sexual behavior problems.

The organization serves 13 counties across Northeast Georgia and has offices in Gainesville and Cumming. It also is an agency of the United Way.



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