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Event benefits sick, disabled children

Thursday, August 2, 2007

(Photo)
The alcohol funny car shown here will be featured at the Cars for Kids Southern Style event, which will be held Aug. 18 and 19 at Arena Park in Cape Girardeau.
(Submitted photo)
Rick Farmer has been planning the first Cars for Kids Southern Style open car show since December. He will have five of his own cars at the show. Since February he's distributed fliers at the weekly car shows he attends and to all his customers at Farmers Sales & Service in Cape Girardeau.

Open to cars, trucks, motorcycles and antique tractors, there is a $25 per vehicle registration fee that will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Hunting for a Cure, Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, Easter Seals and United Cerebral Palsy. The event begins with a 6 to 10 p.m. preshow get-together Aug. 17 at Arena Park and will continue at 8 a.m. Aug. 18 for registration. Registration ends at noon; the show continues until 6 p.m.

Farmer learned about Cars for Kids Southern Style at a Cars for Kids show in Illinois two years ago.

"I thought they were doing such a good job for these kids, I decided to have one in Missouri," he said. "These people are committed."

For the past couple of years he's donated time and money to the cause. Farmer, who has been fixing up cars since he was 15 and going to car shows for 20 years said, "I feel like I'm blessed with a couple of my old cars, and if it can help kids I'm going to do it."

Besides the variety of entries in an open show, three main features of Cars for Kids Southern Style include the alcohol funny car, an Orange County Chopper and the nation's fastest wheelchair.

Visitors can sit in the funny car, whose whole body flips out for entrance at the front. It runs on alcohol fuel and can race at speeds that exceed 200 mph. The Orange County Chopper, a custom Harley-Davidson bike, is valued at $40,000. The world's fastest wheelchair, designed to promote awareness of disabilities, reaches 120 mph in six seconds. Other attractions include a play area with miniature horses and inflatable jumping toys for children, food vendors and "best of" trophies.

The car show was started by Larry Price of Tennessee, on a promise that he would donate the rest of his life to raising funds to help children who have been injured, handicapped or are in financial need.

When his 12-year-old-son, Larry, was injured in a life-threatening bicycle wreck that made his brain swell, Price promised that if his son was allowed to live he would donate the rest of his life to raising funds to help children. His son, Larry Price Chad Jr., now drives a race car. "He missed one day of school," Price said. "Now you tell me, was it the Lord who done it or not?"

Price, who is retired, said he does benefits for families in hardship situations. Pageants also raise funds for the organization.

Farmer said he expects about 300 cars at the Cape Girardeau event and hopes it isn't a one-time affair. "I'm serious about having this again," he said.

cpagano@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 133


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