Motorcycle club charity ‘poker run’

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For the kids . . . Heart Kids Otago service co-ordinator Cecilia Sullivan-Grant and Bronz Otago Motorcycle Club member A.J. Todd and children with heart defects (on wall from left) Charlie (5) and Leiha (10) Ryall, Alyssa (8) and Lucas (11) Evans, Jackson Broome (1, obscured with mother Liana Gregg) Levi and Konrad Maaka (both 9) and Skyla Miller (10) and Casey Moore (1, in pushchair), all of Dunedin, are set for the club's Poker Run across the South to raise funds for the charity. PHOTO: SHAWN MCAVINUE

A pack of motorcycle riders is set to depart Dunedin on a “poker run” on Saturday to raise money for children dealing with heart defects.

Bronz Otago Motorcycle Club member A.J. Todd said the club’s second annual “poker run” would raise funds for charity Heart Kids.

The ride of about 400km includes five stops – Milton, Balclutha, Gore, Beaumont and Waihola.

At each stop, participants would be given a playing card.

At the final stop, the players holding the three best poker hands win prizes including a holiday package in Kaka Point.

Raffle prizes include two Highlanders jerseys – one signed by the team and another worn during a match by hooker Liam Coltman.

Dunedin “Heart Kids” children would judge who wins a trophy for owning the best motorcycle.

When nearly 50 riders travelled around the South on the inaugural run last year, a club member’s son, Jackson Broome, was in hospital having heart surgery.

“One of our own was on the operating table,” Mr Todd said.

Heart Kids Otago service co-ordinator Cecilia Sullivan-Grant said Jackson had “his wee chest cracked open” so “amazing” surgeons could operate on his heart, which was “the size of a walnut”.

The charity provides families with support – “practical and emotional” – to help during the “roller coaster ride” for families.

“We are a small charity with a massive job.”

Mr Todd said the run will leave the Otago Motorcycle Club in 3 Clark St, central Dunedin, at 9am “sharp” and return by 7pm for a prizegiving.

Anyone without a motorcycle could bring a helmet, as spaces for passengers might be available.

Registration costs $20 and includes a cloth badge.