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Playing Poker for a Cause

Harleys, Hondas, BMWs and many other motorcycles filled the former Herndon Police Station's parking lot last Saturday for the annual Herndon Fraternal Order of Police Poker Run.

The event is a fund-raiser where motorcyclists ride their bikes to various stops along a 100-mile route. This year riders stopped at five locations going as far out as Middleburg and Purcellville. At each stop, riders draw a playing card that is marked on a sheet. Once the participants return to the Herndon stop, they submit their sheets and the rider with the best poker hands win various prizes. Riders had the choice of playing the one hand that came with the admission fee, or buying additional hands to increase the odds of winning.

Proceeds from the admission and additional raffle tickets go toward the Fraternal Order of Police's selected charity. This year's proceeds will go to the Shelley A. Marshall Foundation.

Shelley Marshall lost her life during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Her husband established the foundation in her memory, donating her retirement savings into the organization's funding. The foundation sponsors many charitable causes, including children's story hours at public libraries, creative writing contests for students across the region, inter-generational tea parties at nursing homes in Maryland and Virginia and art workshops for promising high school art students.

Herndon Police also had a car on hand for riders to donate money to the "Calling All Cars" fund-raiser being sponsored by the Alexandria Police Department. Money dropped into the cars will be given to police officers along the Gulf Coast who lost everything during Hurricane Katrina.

The all-day event started at the former station at 8 a.m., and by 10 a.m. riders were well on their way in smaller groups to the various stations through out the region. By afternoon riders were scheduled to trickle back into Herndon to enjoy music, food provided by the Tortilla Factory and various drawings for donated goods from community business sponsors.