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PHOTOS: Pompton Lakes Miracle Run Sends Special Needs Kids To Camp

Riders braved the early rain to join the festivities.
Riders braved the early rain to join the festivities. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Trying to stay dry
Trying to stay dry Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
The rain didn't stop hundreds from attending.
The rain didn't stop hundreds from attending. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Riders took off from various parts of the state, including Rutherford.
Riders took off from various parts of the state, including Rutherford. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Robert Jani, Rusty Gerstenmeir and Daryl Dreher of Wayne
Robert Jani, Rusty Gerstenmeir and Daryl Dreher of Wayne Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
The lodge provided shelter from the rain
The lodge provided shelter from the rain Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
A 2016 Harley Davidson was raffled off
A 2016 Harley Davidson was raffled off Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Hundreds of people were in attendance
Hundreds of people were in attendance Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
This was the first year the event was held in Pompton Lakes
This was the first year the event was held in Pompton Lakes Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
Members of reigning tug-of-war champions "Team Dimples"
Members of reigning tug-of-war champions "Team Dimples" Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
It took a day and a half to set up, organizers said.
It took a day and a half to set up, organizers said. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero
The Miracle Run has raised over $1.5 million since its inception, according to the event chairman.
The Miracle Run has raised over $1.5 million since its inception, according to the event chairman. Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero

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.

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