For Ernie Bordon and friends Dec. 2 will be a time to get their motorcycles humming as they head on down the highway in support of the Joy of Giving.
In its 24th year, the Joy Giving provides more than 900 children and 350 families the opportunity to have gifts at Christmas.
Bordon, owner of Autocraft Collision Center on Marco Island, marks his 10th year of having the Poker Run.
He is assisted by Geri Gurewicz, Jimmy Russo, Carmen and Barb Dasti, Jimmy Downey and Lou and Barbara Prigge. The fundraiser has raised more than $7,000 each year.
An early kickoff is a 50-50 raffle at Stan's Idle Hour in Goodland on Sunday.
"What you have done (through the fundraiser) really hits you on Christmas morning," Gurewicz said. "That's when parents are able to have gifts that Santa Claus brought for the young ones and have a chance to please the older kids. It really lifts you up."
Nicki Davis, president of the Joy of Giving, Inc., said the event reminds Davis of her father, John Mahoney, who died in February.
"He suggested the event to Ernie and me," she said. "In a way he is still here. I plan on leading them over the Jolley Bridge in honor of my dad."
To take part the charge is $25 per bike and $10 for a passenger. It includes breakfast at Porky's Last Stand Restaurant on Marco. Registration is between 8 and 9 a.m. The ride begins at 10 a.m.
From Porky's the riders begin picking up poker cards as they travel to Rodes Restaurant and Fish Market on Bonita Beach Road, then to Junkanoos on Fort Myers Beach. They move along to Sneaky Pete's on Bonita Beach Road and make a stop at Porky's on Collier Boulevard near Golden Gate. The final stop is back at Porky's on Marco Island where an auction will take place.
"We have more gifts than ever this year," Gurewicz said. They include gift certificates for many Marco Island and Isles of Capri restaurants, two-night stays at the Hilton Beach Resort on Marco, Subway on Marco, a dog bed, gift certificates for Kay's on the Beach on Marco, Key West Express and jewelry from Harbor Goldsmith.
"Nicki Davis is a marvelous person," Gurewicz. "She makes it all happen."
On Saturday, Dec. 15, more than 900 children, from 350 families, arrive at Walmart to go gift shopping. The amount of the gift is determined by the number of children per family.
Gurewicz remembers a time when Davis went beyond her duties.
"There are guidelines for what can be purchased," Gurewicz said. "One mother wanted a baby car seat, which was not an approved item. She was not allowed the gift, but Nicki hooked the mother up with a fire department that gave a car seat."
Bordon said that few riders sign up in advance, but 75 to 100 riders participate.
To donate gifts call Gurewicz at 642-5309.