Frank's Ride for Children is an annual poker run to raise money to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.
Frank Aulino, the founder of this event, was an active member and officer of the Longmont Moose Lodge. He pulled his friends and local community businesses together to raise money for children who suffer from critical illnesses.
A father and grandfather, he was a man who cared for the welfare of children and went out of his way to do whatever he could to help. In 1986 he originated a poker run as a benefit for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Participants in the event started the morning off with a breakfast at the Moose Lodge, and then they traveled along a specified course, stopping at certain points to draw a playing card. At the end of the ride the players turned in their 5-card hand with the hope it would be the prize-winning highest poker hand.
A large amount of money was raised on the initial run and Frankie began making plans for the next year, which turned out to be an even bigger event, with increasing revenues and participants. He was just coming off the high of that run and planning the next year's run when he died suddenly from a heart attack in July 1987. Frankie's Moose brothers, who were left picked up the torch and organized a run that was later renamed in his honor. The Frank Aulino Ride for Children became an annual event, raising funds for Muscular Dystrophy, Denver Children's Hospital and the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Colorado.
Buton Rudzik, who co-chaired the event for at least a decade after Frank's passing and one of four of the last members remaining from Frankie's original committee said, "The run is a yearly memorial to Frankie and what he believed in".
"Frankie always loved kids and wanted to do anything to make things better for them. We're carrying on the tradition."
As in years past, our Board of Directors continually strive to carry on the ideals that Frank set for us so many years ago. The run is designed for families and for those who don't ride bikes, yet want to join the fun. We welcome families and anyone who wants to come - in cars, vans, trucks, and whatever else”.