A Note From USLMRA President Bruce “Mr. MowItAll” Kaufman
Each race in this year’s STA-BIL National Lawn Mower Racing Series will be covered by one of our own members, a designated “Pit Reporter” who’ll report back on the weekend’s happenings, the racing action, and mow!
The fourth race in our 2015 Season, held in Ellerbe, NC, was covered by Angeline Hartness Robinson. A full weekend recap is coming, and in the meantime enjoy this fun story of good karma!
The USLMRA descended upon the small town of Ellerbe, NC during May 16 & 17, 2015 for a STA-BIL National Lawn Mower Racing Series weekend and the 2nd Annual Race 4 Taylor! Those of you who know me have seen my posts about doing the right thing, being good and doing good, etc, both in relation to this event and in life… but this weekend I was shown that there really is such a thing as GOOD KARMA!
The Annual Race For Taylor is a USLMRA event in it’s second year of benefiting JRA (Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) and the JRA Foundation. Inspired by Taylor Crouch, the race truly exemplifies what the lawn mower racing community is about, as competition meets charity in the finest of fashions.
A couple of weeks ago, Mike Collins from New Hampshire made a post on Facebook saying that he & his fellas were coming in to North Carolina for this race. They were bringing with them Mike’s 11 year old son, Tucker. Mike asked if anyone had a racer that they would be willing to let Tucker drive. Given my son Dylan’s recent accident that would sideline him and his mower from this race, I offered up Dylan’s mower.
I wanted to double check with Dylan before completely committing though. I literally got these words out of my mouth: “Dylan, we need to have a REAL conversation… Do you remember Mike Collins?”
His response: “YES!!!”
I say: “He’s bringing his son Tucker to Ellerbe and would like for him…”
Dylan immediately cuts me off: “He can drive my mower!!!!”
Now, those words coming out of my 8 year old child’s mouth were enough to melt my heart! I knew then that Derrick & I were definitely doing something right in raising our kids to do the “right thing!”
Mike called me last week wanting to pay us? Um, NO!!! He even offered to buy Dylan a toy, or a gift card! I told him NO again! We did not do this for anything in return! We did this because we believe that everyone should have the opportunity to race with us!
Doc Kuhfeldt came up with the brilliant idea today to raise money for The Crouch family’s Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis fund, AKA “The Racing 4 Taylor” benefit! Doc had a vendor that was set up at the track make a license plate with a racing mower on it. Then Doc personally went through the pits getting each and every driver to sign it for an auction last night. During our intermission, Doc started the bidding.
Now mind you, I REALLY wanted this thing. So my mom, Lynne Willis & brother, Tommy Hartness started bidding on it. The bid quickly grew to $50, then to $75. I asked who else was bidding on it and was told that it was our very own Mr. Miiiiccchhhiiigggggaaaannnn himself, Eric Corner! Eric quickly upped the bid to $112.09! Yes it’s a crazy number, but to understand it you would really have to know Eric!
So Tommy decided to let him have it. Doc haggled with Eric during the paying process and ended up getting right at $160.00 for this license plate from Eric! A few moments later as I was standing at the fence, Rex Crouch Jr. told me to go get Dylan. Derrick & I got to Dylan and Eric Corner met us in the pits. He wanted to give Dylan the license plate since Dylan had let Tucker Collins drive his mower for this race since Dylan wasn’t able to drive.
I have experienced many truly touching moments throughout all of this lawn mower racing business, but this touched my heart so much! I cried like a little girl! Tears streamed down my face like no other! I’m sure that I looked a hot mess already covered in nothing but red dirt, and the tears had to have left ridiculous white streaks down my face. But I really don’t care! I’m just so honored to have all of these amazing people in our lives, and in our kids’ lives!
At the end of the night at the trophy ceremony, I had the great pleasure of presenting Mr. Eric Corner with a Spirit & Spark Award! That was a true honor for me!
See everyone, this is why this sport is growing in popularity by the day. Yes it’s the thrill of it, but more importantly, it’s our amazing family atmosphere. Because as Eric ever so lovingly pointed out to me, we are truly ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY!!!!!!!
Stay tuned for more from Ellerbe, NC!
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