PARC holding its annual Poker Run fundraiser

By SHERIDAN CYR

STAFF WRITER

Plainville’s PARC will host a Poker Run fundraiser on Saturday, May 5 in honor or Ed Mercure, a former Plainville resident who died in a motorcycle accident in 2010. He is remembered by PARC for his work as a West Hartford police officer, an avid biker, and an active community volunteer.

Mercure’s parents, Bob and Jane, were instrumental in founding PARC, which offers family centered services for people with developmental disabilities. PARC is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families effected by disabilities.

“All the work that PARC does is for the individuals that we serve,” said June May, President of the Board of Directors.

The Poker Run will begin with registration at 9 a.m. at VFW Post 574 Hall, located at 7 Northwest Dr., where Chip’s Family Restaurant’s pancake truck will be serving up breakfast for participants. Starting at 10 a.m., bikers will depart and follow a route including numerous stops throughout central Connecticut, including Landing Zone Grill in Harwinton, Chute Gates Steakhouse in Terryville, Sam the Clam’s Pub and Grub in Southington, and Yankee Harley-Davidson in Bristol.

At each stop along the route, bikers will receive a random card from a standard card deck. When they return, the person with the best poker hand will win a cash prize.

Board president May said PARC hopes to raise additional money this year to fund new programs and to  counter some cuts to funding provided by the state of Connecticut.

“We want to do everything we can to support these families,” May said. “They are so appreciative of the little things. We do this for them.”

When bikers return to the VFW Post, they will be greeted with lunch, music and prize giveaways.

In a press release, PARC executive director Erica Donovan said, “We’re thrilled to be hosting this exciting fundraiser to benefit the work PARC does with people with developmental disabilities in our community and remembering Ed at the same time.”

Tickets are $25 for riders and $15 for passengers. People are welcome to participate in vehicles, not just motorcycles. Supporters who choose not to take the ride can have lunch for $10 at the VFW.

Businesses that would like to sponsor the ride should contact PARC as soon as possible by calling PARC at (860) 747-0316 or emailing edonovan@parcdisabilitiesct.org. Visit PARC online at parcdisabilitiesct.org or on Facebook.