POMPTON LAKES, N.J.– Early afternoon rain couldn't prevent hundreds of people from supporting the 18th annual Miracle Run at the Pompton Lakes Elks Lodge.
The Elks send 550 special needs children – ages 8 to 21 – to the week-long camp for free.
"Between the lodges and the state associates, we pick up the costs," Miracle Run co-advisor Rusty Gerstenmeir said.
"Some of our campers are severely handicapped," said fellow co-advisor Robert Jani. "Not only does it give them a week at the camp, it gives the parents a respite from the 24-hour care."
The inaugural event started in Oakland.
"It was 12 motorcycle riders [who] were Elks [who] wanted to raise money for Camp Moore, " Gerstenmeir said.
Since then "we've raised over $1.5 million dollars," added Miracle Run chairman Daryl Dreher of Wayne.Organized rides were scheduled Sunday from various starting points across the state, including Rutherford.
A 2016 Harley Davidson Street Glide, valued at over $20,000, was raffled off.
Food was donated by motorcycle committees from other lodges.
"It's really a nice day out," said Janni. "It was pouring rain but there were motorcycles in the parking lot. People braved the rain to support our special kids."
This was the first year the event was held in Pompton Lakes.
It took roughly a day and a half to set everything up, Dreher said.
"It takes 364 days to plan it," he added.