FREMONT, Ohio – Dirt track race fans are passionate. Not only about their sport, but about helping one another. They are one big family. And when a member of the family needs help, hundreds of thousands of race fans are there to provide that support.
This weekend that family will come together at Fremont Speedway to help combat childhood cancer. The Third Annual Fremont Speedway Kick-It fund-raiser will take place Saturday at “The Track That Action Built.”
The Kick-It for Children’s Cancer is part of NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jeff Gordon’s Children’s Foundation to raise funds and awareness for childhood cancer research. Kick-It was founded by a 10-year-old cancer patient with a big dream – to cure cancer by playing kickball. Kick-It has raised over $800,000 since 2009.
And the dirt track racing community has responded in a huge way. Kickball tournaments and fund-raisers have been held at race tracks throughout the county.
At Fremont Speedway Saturday there will be a fun kickball tournament, auction and more to raise funds for the Kick-It for Children’s Cancer. The goal is to raise at least $50,000. In the two previous years, a combined $35,000 was raised. There have been events and fund-raisers for the Fremont Speedway Kick-It program throughout the 2014 racing season, including a “Kick-Bald” event where drivers, sponsors, fans and others took bids to have their heads shaved. So far over $26,000 has been raised.
And Jeff Gordon has vowed to match the total amount raised by the Fremont Speedway Kick-It.
Shelly Liskai has been the driving force behind the Fremont Speedway Kick-It project and is very excited about how the fans and race teams have responded.
“So many people have stepped up to help make this vision a reality. It’s so heart-warming to see the response we have gotten. We have one young racer, Tyler Gunn, who single-handedly went out in his community and raised over $5,000. And there’s stories like that throughout our racers and fans,” said Liskai. “I have to give a huge thanks to Michelle Gressman. She has stepped up to provide so much help. Also I have to thank my family and friends and Rich Farmer (Fremont Speedway Promoter) for all the support and encouragement.”
The teams competing in the kickball tournament raised funds to compete for the coveted Kick-It Trophy. They will play on three fields in the campground area across from the Sandusky County Fairgrounds beginning at 10 a.m. There are 15 teams entered and they are seeking donations for Kick-It online at www.kick-it.org (click on the “find a game” tab and type in Fremont Speedway).
Liskai said the team with the highest online collection as of Friday will get an automatic bye into the second round.
Race fans and community members are invited to come watch the fun and bid on silent auction items. There will be a live auction with lots of merchandise and services available for bidding at 2:15 p.m.
A very special part of the Fremont Speedway Kick-It event will be having the family of Devin Kohlman on hand for the festivities. Devin touched the hearts of residents throughout the country last fall. The 13-year-old from Port Clinton, Ohio lost his life to brain cancer. But prior, he inspired all of Northwest Ohio with his courage. He came home from treatment last October because he had exhausted the treatment options and wanted to spend time with friends and he wanted to be there for Christmas. People from throughout Northwest Ohio decorated a park near Devin’s home and turned out for a holiday pep rally.
“Team Devin will be made up of Devin’s family and friends. We’re so excited to have them participate and help bring awareness to this great cause,” said Liskai.
“Our area has been extremely impacted by childhood cancer and I know our great fans and race teams can make a difference in helping to find a cure. No parent should have to watch their child wait for a cure. The goal with ALL of this is to accelerate a cure for children with cancer,” added Liskai.
The Fremont Speedway Kick-It is part of the 7th Annual Jim Ford Classic race weekend at the race track. It begins with the University of Northwestern Ohio All Star Circuit of Champions sprint cars competing Friday night along with the 305 sprints and dirt trucks. The UNOH All Stars, 305 sprints and dirt trucks will be back in action Saturday night with the All Stars vying for $10,000 to win the feature event. There will be bands performing for an after-race party each night. Also, there will be a queen’s contest in the Fremont Speedway Hall of Fame Saturday at 1 p.m. to crown the track’s 2015 queen and Lil Miss Fremont Speedway.
For more information on the Fremont Speedway Kick-It contact Shelly Liskai at 419-603-9834. For more information on the weekend’s events at Fremont Speedway go to www.fremontohspeedway.com