5th Annual Joe Slater Memorial Poker Run Set for August 23 & 24

| July 18, 2019

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – The Fifth Annual Joe Slater Memorial Poker Run event will be held on August 23 and 24 at the Venango County Coon & Fox Club in Franklin.

Former local resident Joe Slater was killed in a tragic motorcycle accident on July 20, 2014. Raised in Rocky Grove, Joe was known for his passion for riding his motorcycle and his love and protectiveness of his family and friends, especially his beloved grandchildren.

Following his death, his daughters, Ashleigh Morrow, Amber Slater, and Alyssa Slater and some of Joe’s friends organized a benefit in his honor.

“We wanted to memorialize a great son, brother, friend, father, and grandfather,” his daughter Amber told exploreVenango.com.

“It was also important to our family and my sisters and myself specifically because when my dad passed there was very little life insurance and being so young, it was hard to grasp the idea of having to grieve the loss of our dad so unexpectedly, as well as be responsible for the financial burden.

“It was extremely difficult, and we were lucky enough to have such giving people in the community pull together to raise money to take care of those financial problems through fundraisers and other events.”

Amber said that her family decided after receiving so much generous help, they wanted to do the same for other families in need.

“If we can help families that are grieving from the loss of a family member or dealing with financial problems due to life-threatening illnesses and give back to the community in any way, then we want to do that.

“I know we couldn’t have handled it without our community pulling together for my sisters and our family, and we will be forever grateful for that.”

Five years ago, they organized the first memorial poker run in her father’s name and donated the proceeds to A.B.A.T.E’s Venango County Chapter, a motorcycle rights organization that brings attention to issues that affect riders.

They decided to make a change for the big fifth-year event.


This year proceeds from the event will go to an organization called Dreaming of Three which raises funds to donate to a number of different charities such as the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

“Our favorite thing about Dreaming of Three is their Rodeo Kids Program where they take children fighting cancer or heart disease and their families to rodeos for a day, all expenses paid. The kids get the chance to get out and experience something they may never or have never had the opportunity to,” Amber said.

“Jackie Harris, the founder of Dreaming of Three, has been incredibly kind to us this year and has even offered to photograph our event this year for the bikers.”

The format of the event has changed with more activities planned rather than just a single event.

It will begin on Friday, August 23, when Rick Magee & The Roadhouse Rockers will play from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Friday’s admission is $15.00, and hot dogs, chips, and a beer wagon will be available.

The Poker Run – along with a Chinese Auction, a 50/50 raffle, a DJ, and a pig roast – will take place on Saturday, August 24. The poker run is $25.00 per rider plus $10.00 for a passenger. A gate pass for the event is $15.00. There will be games throughout the day. Poker run participants will meet at the old KMart in Franklin. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. and kickstands go up at 10:00 a.m.

Each year the poker run event has raised between $1,500.00 and $3,000.00, and attendance has continued to grow.

“We hope we can continue that trend this year,” Amber noted.

“Seeing the amount of help that we receive from people every year is truly incredible. Help throughout the year for planning is great, donations we receive from local businesses, and the people that attend each year is what makes this event possible, and we can never put into words how much it means to his family and friends.

“I am sure he would be so incredibly happy to see what our community has managed to put together in his memory.”

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