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Poker Run Benefits Children's Home Society

July 22, 2012, 9:56 PM by Hailey Higgins

Poker Run Benefits Children's Home Society
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Hundreds of bikers braved the scorching heat to raise thousands of dollars for children victimized by severe abuse and neglect.

Bikers will not only raise their bets Sunday, but also more than $5,000 at the fourth annual "Those Guys ABATE Run."

The event kicked off at Wild Willy's on North Cliff Avenue.

And Rich and Tracy Smith are no strangers to a poker run.

"It's fun. You get to meet new people. You get to hang out with old friends and make new friends," Tracy said.

In fact, Rich organized his own poker run earlier this year and is giving $1,000 of his proceeds to this event which benefits Children's Home Society.

"If you've ever been there, the kids that are there are awesome and they need money," Rich said.

Since 2009, event organizer Dave Brende's raised more than $14,000. After Sunday's event, he wants to top out at $20,000.

"These are kids that haven't done anything wrong. It's just what they were born into and anything we can do to help them out, we'll try," Brende said.

The money raised will help more than 60 full time residents at the Children's Home Society between the ages of four and 13, most of whom have experienced severe abuse and neglect.

Even with a heat index well over 100 degrees, participants say it's worth it for the kids.

"It's about children who don't have families and it helps them have a place to be, people to take care of them the way they need to be taken care of," Tracy said.

The poker run made six stops from Brandon to Baltic and back to Sioux Falls. One stop was at the Children's Home Society where the kids earned some money from the bikers by providing lemonade and cookies.

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