Fraternal Order of the Orioles to hold benefit for injured Cape soldier
The North Fort Myers Fraternal Order of the Orioles will host a special poker run Saturday, Aug. 21, to raise funds to support PFC Corey A. Kent, a soldier from Cape Coral who was injured in Afghanistan.
A 2006 Mariner High graduate, Kent, 21, lost both legs and three fingers on his left hand when hit by an improvised explosive device July 12.
“That’s what we do, we are a non-profit organization, we support people,” said Orioles Vice President Doug Pedigow. “We also care for families throughout the year, including Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we provide dinners and more.”
Organizer John (Papa John) Summercamp said it will probably be about a 90-mile ride. “Kick stands will be up from 10 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and we will honor many of the local Orioles by stopping at many. All proceeds benefit Kent and his family.”
The group has already contributed to Kent’s fund, set up at a local bank.
“We had a great turnout at the last event and hope to have one as well for this benefit drive,” he said.
The $10 cost will also include a dinner and music back at their home base, Summercamp said.
In addition, a Harley-Davidson Grill will be raffled off, something a motorcycle enthusiast can strap on the back of a bike and then grill at the beach or on their backyard.
Proceeds from the last poker run allowed officials from the Orioles to present a check for $1,400 to the North Fort Myers Community Center to make the summer better for local children.
“The funds went to send kids to summer camp and toward our club rec program, our after school program,” said the center’s senior recreation specialist June Christine Susterich. “What an awesome donation. The parents and the children will be very appreciative. They (the Orioles) have already given us $500. Five kids have been able to go to camp for two weeks already.”
Kenny Cox, a trustee for the Orioles, was a key organizer in the last drive. Cox also said the men’s association helped finance contributions.
“We want to set the bar at $500 and challenge other organizations,” said West.
The poker run will start and end at the Orioles’ local location.
A fund has been established at Bank of America for Kent.
“At any bank branch, you can make a donation, just ask there,” said Cox.
The group is a private organization — and still looking for new members. Prospective members can be signed in by a member if they want to check out the organization. A particularly fun night is Thursday, when they offer karaoke and tacos.
The North Fort Myers Fraternal Order of the Orioles is known as Nest 301, and is located at 13290 North Cleveland Ave. For information call 656-6440 .