Poker & Fun Car Rallye to support Justin’s Beach House

Those who love poker and driving can combine the two at this weekend’s Poker & Fun Car Rallye IV, supporting Justin’s Beach House.

The respite home was built after the creation of the Justin. W. Jennings Foundation, which maintains it, with the mission to “support and maintain a home in the Bethany Beach area where families with cancer can have a place of respite and enjoy some fun family time. It will be a place of joy and peace at the beach.”

Jennings, a Wilmington native whose family vacationed in Bethany Beach, passed away in 2000, at the age of 19, from a malignant brain tumor. In his memory, Justin’s parents, Craig and Mary Ellen Nantis, worked to build a home where families suffering from cancer can enjoy a weeklong stay at the beach. In 2015, the foundation celebrated its fifth year of hosting families.

As a nonprofit, it takes a lot of money and volunteer hours to keep the house up and running for visiting families. One such couple who has donated their time is Bob and Nancy Lueckel, who created a car “rallye” to help financially support Justin’s Beach House.

The Lueckels decided to create the car rallye after Nancy Lueckel had volunteered her time to bake for and greet families staying in Justin’s Beach House.

“This was before we moved down here full-time,” Bob Lueckel explained. “She was really enthusiastic about the charity and was wondering how we could do something more than her just baking and greeting the families when they arrived.”

The Justin’s Beach House Poker & Fun Car Rallye IV will be held Saturday, March 5. Those who wish to participate may register day-of, between 10 and 11 a.m., at Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar in the Millville Town Center.

The drivers’ meeting will be held at 11 a.m., with the first car leaving at 11:15 a.m. Each team is to consist of a driver and a navigator. Registration costs $30 per car, and prizes will be awarded for the top cars.

For those who choose to participate, the rallye car must have both a driver and a navigator, and the vehicle must be registered to be street-driven. Any car or truck will do; the driver must have a valid license; a navigator must be used and should be old enough to read directions and the rallye questions and write down answers to the questions.

No more than two adults are allowed in each vehicle in the rallye; seatbelts must be worn at all times; all traffic laws and rules of the road must be followed. Safety and courtesy will be required while making turns and searching for clues.

“Is a combination poker and fun car rallye,” explained Lueckel. “Participants will be given a set of directions and questions. All participants will follow the same route. At the beginning and at checkpoints along the route, they’ll stop and pick cards for a poker hand. That’s how we combine the two. Then, when they return, they’ll make their poker hand.”

The Lueckels had previously been involved in rallyes with their Corvette club while living in Maryland.

“She thought that might be something fun for people to do… and an opportunity to raise some money for Justin’s.”

Lueckel said their largest rallye had 32 participants, and he hopes to continue to have community support and participation during this weekend’s event.

“Although it is a rain-or-shine event, the turnout does vary by the weather and what other events are going on in the area,” he said. “We think we have a good rallye put together. The weather looks like it’ll be sunny and warm. We’re just hoping for a great turnout.”

For more information about the Poker & Fun Car Rallye IV, call Lueckel at (443) 299-9125 or Bob S.
at (845) 656-5438. Hooked Up Ale House & Raw Bar is located at 38069 Town Center Drive in Millville, in the same shopping center as the Super Giant.