Saturday's Louis J. Billittier Foundation Motorcycle Poker Run and Charity Raffle raised $25,000 for the namesake and Western New York charities including the Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center.
Billittier Jr. is extending thanks to the 200 motorcycle riders and hundreds of supporters and volunteers who participated. Among the participants, Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard joined Buffalo Sabres legend Rene Robert of "The French Connection" in starting the motorcycle run at 11 a.m.
The Louis J. Billittier Foundation formed when Lou Jr.'s father passed away in 2000. It continues Lou's support of children's charities in Western New York. Lou Jr. and Mary Beth Billittier own and operate the popular Chef's Restaurant at 291 Seneca St. (at Chicago), in downtown Buffalo.
A portion of Chicago Street was closed to traffic Saturday to accommodate the riders and supporters at the post-race party. Motorcyclists checked in beginning at 9:30 a.m. and received a score sheet and route map. Riders stopped at several checkpoints along the route where they draw a card. The card was noted on the rider's score sheet before heading to the next checkpoint.
Like a game of poker, the person with the best hand at the end was deemed the winner of the $500 "Poker Run." In addition, a Harley Davidson motorcycle was raffled off to one lucky winner. The winner selected at random was Gary Frankino of Kenmore.
Lou Billittier Jr.