Community members participate in a Santa Clarita Elks Lodge event. The Elks Lodge will host its Poker Run on April 13.

Elks Riders ready to wheel, deal for a cause

The Santa Clarita Elks Lodge is hosting its second annual Poker Run to benefit children with brain injuries Saturday, April 13.

Participants will follow a course across the city to four poker stops. At each checkpoint, they will receive a playing card and map to their next destination.

The run will conclude at Route 66 Classic Grill in Canyon Country, where the rider with the best poker hand will be crowned the winner. Ending festivities include live music by LA Kraze, a silent auction and a 50/50 raffle, according to organizers.

Elks Lodge riders from across the country are set to ride for the same cause on the same day, but here in Santa Clarita, all proceeds from the event will go toward Marissa, whose adopted mother, Sarah, works as an operator at TNJ Towing in Santa Clarita, according to Deana Dannull Princiotta, vice president of the Elks Riders.

“We’re just trying to do a wonderful thing for a little girl who seemed to be the one that needed the most help,” said Princiotta.

Marissa, whose family asked her last name not be used, was born with extensive brain damage, and has been fighting various illnesses throughout her life because of it. She spent the majority of her first two years in the hospital, and Sarah says she was semi-comatose for three weeks just this past year.

Now, she’s in renal failure with kidney function down to 4 percent, according to Princiotta.

“Some days are better than others, some days are impossible to get through,” Sarah said, “then there are those days she smiles and laughs and it reminds all of us how precious life is.”

The Poker Run is open to anyone who would like to participate. Tickets for motorcycle and vehicle drivers are $25 and $15 for passengers.

Registration for the Poker Run will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday, April 13, at Elks Lodge No. 2379 located at 17766 Sierra Highway in Canyon Country. The run will begin at 10 a.m. and end in the afternoon at the Route 66 Classic Grill located at 18730 Soledad Canyon Road in Canyon Country.

For more information about the event and to purchase tickets or donate, visit https://BIC-Ride.com.

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