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Fundraiser to help start racing season

POSTED: March 8, 2013 12:28 a.m.
 

They may be small, but members of the North Georgia Quarter Midget Association aim to be strong in raising money for a child in need Saturday.

The organization, which lets kids ages 5 to 16 use scaled-down race cars in competitions, is housed at the Bill Thomas Raceway at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

For the 10th year in a row, the association will hold the charity event. Eric Kimbral, president of the association, said while admission to the races Saturday is free, all proceeds from concessions, a bake sale and cake auction, as well as several raffles will go to the family of 3-year-old Tabor Buckles.

Kimbral said he has been friends with Buckles’ mother, Angie Yarbrough, since their school years. The county natives graduated from Forsyth Central High School in 1990.

“We went all the way from elementary through high school together,” Kimbral said. “We were friends on Facebook and I saw the struggle they were going through with always going to the hospital.”

Buckles has a rare condition that causes her esophagus to frequently spasm and close, making her choke, Kimbral said.

The association each year chooses a children’s charity to support, but Kimbral thought this year it would be nice to support an individual.

“It just felt right to help a local person that we knew … to actually see the benefit of it,” he said, noting that Buckles and her mom have to travel all the way to Ohio for treatments.

“The hospital that specializes in the treatment of the condition is in Cincinnati, so they have to go up there about once a month.”

Tara Nalley, fundraising chairwoman, said the event goes hand in hand with the association’s values.

“We try to teach the kids to give back,” she said, adding that it’s also nice for them to have spectators at the races.

“We would love to have a crowd. It’s great for the kids to be able to race in front of more than just their families, so it’s always nice to have people come and see what we’re all about.”

The association has about 50 member families, Nalley said.

“It’s called the North Georgia Quarter Midget Association because we literally have people who come from all over north Georgia,” she said.

Nalley noted that racers come from as far away as Ringgold and Jasper in northwest Georgia, as well as the Canton and Cumming areas. Some even come from North Carolina to take part.

This Saturday will also be the association’s first regional race, with participants also coming from quarter midget associations in Oakwood and Huntsville, Ala.

Nalley said the race likely will draw somewhere between 75 and 90 racers.

Registration begins at 9 a.m. with qualifying rounds starting about 11 a.m., she said.

Racers will be preparing for the Eastern Grands, a national championship in July. And this year, the local association will play host to the Grands for the first time since 2005.

“In the first two days of registrations, we had about 250 people sign up, so we anticipate upwards of 500 participants,” Nalley said.

The association is seeking local businesses that may want to help sponsor the Eastern Grands.

“Every child that participates in the Grands will get a trophy to varying degrees, obviously the champions get larger ones,” she said. “That’s really our biggest expense.”

The Grands will run an entire week, July 18-27, and local businesses are also needed to help in other areas.

“We’ll have different activities going on for the kids who aren’t racing on a particular day and their families, so we’re also trying to work with some of the area businesses to establish some of those activities as well,” Nalley said.

Any business interested in helping, should contact Nalley at (404) 569-9826 or taranalley@windstream.net.

 

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