It seemed like more of a trial run for its bigger event in the winter, but that didn't mean the Moose Lodge's third-annual poker run Saturday was any less fun, or important.
Nearly 60 people rode their bikes, motorcycles, cars and a few even walked as they made their way to the heart of St. James City to collect cards at participating locations in hopes of getting the best hand and win prizes, while helping local charities.
The event was followed by prize drawings and a party with live entertainment with Barry and Kerri.
From left, Kendra Newman, Mike Wayne, Dave Miller, Debbie Miller, Pat McNeal and T-Man get ready to take part in the third annual poker run at the Moose Lodge in St. James City Saturday.
While it was a far cry from the lodge's poker run in January, which draws as many as 1,000 riders, Tom Akers, governor of the Moose Lodge No. 1954, said he still expected a good crowd, and got one.
"This is a preliminary one for the one in January where we raise money for scholarships. This is for district charities," Akers said, noting the event raised about $400.
A poker run is an event where participants ride to participating locations, where they draw a card. The person with the best hand at the end of the run wins.
Riders went to Low Key Tiki, the Ragged Ass Saloon, American Legion Post No. 136, Tropical Point Drive, VFW Post No. 4353, the KOA Camp Ground driveway, and the Moose Lodge, where you could get a card on your way out or when you return.
Paul Alexander chose to start his run at the lodge and pulled two of clubs. Not an auspicious beginning, but he was not dissuaded.
"Five or six twos are as good as anything," Alexander said.
This isn't like draw poker, so many returned home with not much of anything. Donna and Tim Fisher came back with a lot of individual cards. But they had fun visiting other places and meeting new friends.
"We didn't get anything, just a mish-mash, but it was fun and we got to see people we know. It's a neat thing," Donna said.
"We had an excellent time, and we're always involved in a good cause," Tim added.
Participants used many modes of transportation. Kendra Newman chose to rider her bike with her friend after driving all the way from Sarasota.
"We saw the flier when we were here two weeks ago and we loved it here, so we're doing the run today and staying in Matlacha tonight," Newman said. "We're members of the Moose in Sarasota and we're always doing things for others."
She and other friends from Naples joined them on their journey.
Among the charities the Moose supports are its own Moose Heart, a children's village in Chicago, and Moose Haven, a retirement community outside of Jacksonville, according to Sheri Dube, a lodge member.