Archive for Wednesday, August 13, 2003

Demolition derby to benefit youths

August 13, 2003


Another demolition derby is coming to Lawrence, this time for the benefit of area youths with disabilities.

Two longtime derby drivers, Gary Christian, of Lawrence, and Les Foster, of Gardner, are organizing the derby to raise money for Douglas County Infant-Toddler Coordinating Council. The derby will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 30 at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds Rodeo Arena.

"We're really excited about this, and so are they," said Dena Bracciano, ICC coordinator.

ICC is an organization that provides services and evaluations for children with special needs.

So far about 50 drivers from around the nation have signed up to participate, and the organizers are hoping another 50 will enter by derby time. There will be cash prizes for big- and small-size car winners, ranging from $100 to the $5,000 grand prize.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Hy-Vee Food & Drug Stores, Dillons and Checkers Food stores, and at the ICC office, 2619 W. Sixth St., Suite B. They are $8 for adults and $4 for children 6 to 12 years old. At the gate the prices will be $10 and $5.

All gate proceeds will go to ICC and prize money will come from driver entry fees, the organizers said. There are nearly 40 local sponsors lined up to provide various assistance in conducting the derby.

"It's just a good way to help the kids," Christian said. "It brings the attention of the people to this organization."

Two years ago Christian and Foster organized a demolition derby benefit for Franklin County ICC that raised more than $7,000, they said. This year they wanted to try it in Douglas County.

"We didn't set a goal," Bracciano said of raising money. "We're just trying to build from this one. Hopefully we'll have it every year."

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