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Charity Poker Run is Winning Hand

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Bikers Ride 77 Miles for Mental Health

Fact: 1 in 5 people are affected by a mental health illness.

On Saturday, January 19th, Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc., along with several sponsors and supporters, kicked off their inaugural “Ride for Meridian” – a charity poker run that included five stops, covering 77 miles through Gainesville, Trenton, High Springs, and Chiefland.

             45 bikers gathered at Custom Accessories in Trenton early Saturday to show their support for Meridian’s mission of bringing hope, recovery, and wellness within everyone’s reach.  Participants were treated to coffee and donuts, an exclusive commemorative patch, and music by All 80’s Y105 DJ, Tom Machnik, before going “kickstands up” and heading off.

            At each stop, riders picked a card from a standard deck.  After five stops, they had a poker hand.  If someone wasn’t happy with the cards they had so far, they had the option of buying additional hands and drawing new cards along the way.  But once everyone arrived at the last stop – Chiefland Billiards – prizes were given for both the best and worst hand.

One of many bikes waiting to roar.

            In all, the bikers covered 77 miles and raised over $1000 for Meridian’s continued efforts in the field of mental health, services of which the organization provides across North Central Florida.  Plans are already underway for next years “Ride for Meridian.”  If you have questions or interest, please contact Stephanie Brod at


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