Democrat Photo by Rob Potter
SULLIVAN COUNTY ATV Association officers Ed Houman, far left, Jay Meddaugh and Tony Poli, behind podium, present the proceeds from the associations recent Charity Poker Run to, from left to right, Nicole and Brian Rogerson and their son Bryce and Shelly and Guy Gildersleeve and their son Alec at Saturday nights banquet.
By Rob Potter
ELDRED October 28, 2005 Thanks to the kindness of the members of the Sullivan County ATV Association, two local families will not have to worry so much about medical expenses.
Back on September 10, the ATV association held its seventh annual ATV Charity Poker Run. A total of 630 ATV enthusiasts participated in the event, which began at The Eldred Preserve and continued on a trail that wound its way through the woods and fields to The Fosterdale Motor Lodge at the Fosterdale four corners. The riders then turned around and made their way back to The Eldred Preserve.
Last Saturday night, several of those riders joined the members of the ATV association at The Eldred Preserve for a banquet. The highlight of the evening was when Sullivan County ATV Association President Jay Meddaugh, Secretary/Treasurer Tony Poli and Charity Poker Run Event Coordinator Ed Houman presented the proceeds from the event to two Sullivan County families who have sick children.
A total of $22,000 was evenly divided between the Gildersleeve and Rogerson families. Guy and Shelly Gildersleeve of White Sulphur Springs are the parents of a young son, Alec. The 2 and 1/2-year old has cerebral palsy as well as hearing and vision difficulties. Four therapists visit the familys home on a regular basis to work with Alec.
It is great that the ATV association would do something like this for us and other families, Shelly Gildersleeve said. Were very grateful for this donation. It will go to good use.
Brian and Nicole Rogerson of Neversink are the parents of two children, 8-year-old Emily and 8 and 1/2-month-old Bryce. They were joined at the banquet by Bryces Godparents, Al and Ellen Petrowsky. Just before Bryce was born, doctors discovered that he had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a condition in which only two of the four heart chambers are properly developed.
Bryce has undergone two surgeries at a Boston hospital and will need another operation within the next two years. But Brian Rogerson said that after that surgery, his son should live a normal, healthy life.
We thank you for what you have done, Brian Rogerson said to the ATV association members seated before him in The Eldred Preserves dining room. You are all wonderful people. I hope that there are more wonderful people out there helping the people who need it.
In addition to the Gildersleeves and Rogersons, Sullivan County Sheriff Dan Hogue, who participated in the Sept. 10 charity ride, thanked the ATV association members.
I support you 125 percent, he said. This is a wonderful event.
Throughout the evening, Houman, Meddaugh and Poli thanked the dozens of local businesses and people who made the charity poker run so successful.
Poli thanked his wife, Susan, and children, Tony Jr., Catie and Christina and their friend Jahde Barach for all of their assistance before, during and after the event.
Houman, Meddaugh and Poli also presented plaques of appreciation to Nick Salerno, who is the director of the Dynamite Youth Center in Fallsburg, and several property owners. Poli noted that on Sunday, Sept. 11, 10 children from the youth center spend several hours helping the ATV association members clearing signs from the trails and performing other clean-up tasks. And he thanked the property owners for graciously allowing the riders to drive on their land.
Thank you all for making our seventh annual charity poker run such a success, Poli said.
In addition to Salerno, property owners and event volunteers who received plaques included: Doris Brown, Nancy Canzonieri, DJ Craig of Viking Audio, John Dolce, The Eldred Preserve, Excelsior Hunting Club, Fosterdale Motor Lodge, The Gerry Foundation, Randy Gorr, Jerry Hector (proprietor of Hectors Bar), Doug Heinle, Iroquios Hunting Club, Earl Lilley, Jim Loeffel (manager of the Boy Scouts of America Ten Mile River property), Andy and Patty Regan, Harold Russell III, Sullivan Septic and Sam Smith.
Over the past few years, several local business have worked with the ATV association with the charity poker runs. The businesses have provided goods and/or services and made donations to the cause. For example, on Saturday night, Lou Monteleone, who is The Eldred Preserve Sporting Facilities Manager, gave a $300 check to Meddaugh on behalf of the motel/restaurant/outdoor paradise.
Since the inaugural charity poker run in 1999, the Sullivan County ATV Association has raised just over $90,000 for families of sick children.
For more information about the Sullivan County ATV Association or to volunteer at the associations 2006 charity poker run, please call Tony Poli at Maplewood Auto Service Center. The telephone number is 794-6940.