May 23, 2018
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Lions Poker Run to benefit community pavilion

By Julia Bayly, Special to the BDN

FORT KENT, Maine – Lions and all-terrain vehicles will roar this weekend when the local service club hosts its first-ever ATV Poker Run starting Saturday morning.

Registration for the Fort Kent Lions Club ATV Poker Run is from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Lions’ Den Pavilion in Riverside Park.

Registration is $15, and all proceeds go toward the club’s share of the pavilion construction costs.

Last year the club spent $40,000 of itsown funds to kick-start the $250,000 project, combined with a $169,000 bank loan guaranteed by the town.

Pat Labbe, Fort Kent Lion and chairman of the poker run, said the 6,000-square-foot post-and-beam structure has already benefited the community by hosting events connected with last winter’s World Cup Biathlon and an upcoming community production of the musical “Grease.”

Saturday’s poker run, Labbe said, not only helps raise funds to pay down that loan, it also allows the area to show off some of the best and most scenic trails in Maine.

The 47-mile route takes riders from Fort Kent to checkpoints at the American Dream in St. John Plantation, Carter Brook Snowmobile Lodge in Wallagrass, the Lakeroad Grocery in Soldier Pond, The Hideaway in Daigle and back to the Lions Den.

“These are state-of-the-art trails,” Labbe said. “We hope to get a lot of riders from outside the area, as well as some first-time users.”

Volunteers have been out checking and working on the trails, and Labbe said riders have one volunteer in particular to thank for a smooth trip.

“[Kenneth] ‘Doody’ Michaud has been helping out tremendously,” Labbe said. “He has made sure that all the washouts are fixed before the run.”

The three participants with the best hands at the end of the poker run will receive cash prizes, Labbe said, and all riders must be back at the Lions Den by 4 p.m.

“We will have a hot dog roast starting at four,” he said. “Then people can stick around for the production of ‘Grease’ at 7 p.m.”

For information about the poker run, contact Labbe at 834-5700. Registration is Saturday morning only.

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