BROOKVILLE — Families and bicyclists turned out Sunday for the Jefferson County Historical Society’s annual Family Bicycle and Poker Run.
The ride began at the Redbank Valley Trailhead in Brookville, and took riders down the trail to Summerville. Along the way, there were five stops where riders were given a playing card.
Once all the riders made it to Summerville, they had received a full poker hand and the goal was to have the best hand by the end of the ride. There was also a prize given for the worst hand, and children’s prizes.
The event is a fundraiser for the history center. Board Member Amy Salsgiver explained the center recently switched from charging an admission fee to just asking for a donation if visitors can afford it.
“You’ve got to do something to get money to pay the bills,” Salsgiver said.
The Historical Society was pleased with the turn out, she said. Forty-nine adults and 18 children signed up for the ride this year.
The ride was originally a function of the Brookville Chamber of Commerce with the help of the Historical Society, but the chamber recently decided to step back from the event. The Historical Society had an opportunity to take over, and was able to get a grant to assist with the event.
The grant was from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, DCNR, and Pennsylvania Environment Council for them to host an event on the Rails to Trails. September is Trails Month in Pennsylvania, so these organizations were seeking ways to encourage use of the trails.
“Trails not only take us from point A to B, they open us to new experiences and help to reaffirm our sense of place in the world,” Frank Maguire said on his environmental council blog. He is the trails and recreation program director.
Most of the grant money was used for marketing the run.
The prize for the best poker hand was a cycling computer, a gift certificate for a tune up, a history center membership, and new bike lights. The worst hand won all of these same things, but instead of the cycling computer, they got a Scripture Rocks Park water bottle. Children also won new bike bells.
The day ended with a free picnic at the finish in Summerville, and a shuttle service to take those back to Brookville who didn’t want to make the ride back.