For 3 years now, KK has hosted Kickin' Cancer's Butt One Lap at a Time® Wacky Bowling for Kids' Cancer event in the "off season" at Cadillac Lanes in Waterloo, IA. In those 3 years we have had nearly 350 race fans, drivers, and sponsors participate. Another 300 plus people have come out to support our bowlers, purchase merchandise, participate in the silent auction, and join us at the after party celebration, complete with DJ, darts, pool, and dancing! To date we have raised nearly $25,000 by just being "wacky"!
I know what you are asking . . . What is Wacky Bowling? It is a fun bowling event that involves unique bowling styles, music, lights, fun prizes, trivia, colored pins and friendly fun for individuals and teams. Just to give you a few "wacky" examples . . . "Switch Classes" bowl with someone else's ball and "Rubbin' is Racin" bowl between the legs of your partner.
Participants compete for top team and individual prizes as well as low team and individual prizes. We also award a prize for the "best dressed" team. No, that doesn't mean suit and ties, it really means the "wackiest" dressed team. The voting was close, but the "Redneck Bowlers" took home the top prize this year!
A very special part of the evening included a local driver, Justin Temeyer, sponsoring two teams for our cancer survivors and their siblings. How cool is that! We at Karsyn's Krusaders love the racing community for all of their support as we work to "Kick Cancer's Butt One Lap at a Time".
IMCA Super Nationals
As a child, Jessica watched her dad’s modified take home the Super Nationals title. As memorable as that was, it would be 18 years later, when this "Kickin' Cancer's Butt One Lap at a Time" idea came up and Darin and JD drove their cars on that same track in honor of Karsyn and in support of all of those who lost their lives to cancer or were fighting for another day, that racing turned into more than a passion for the family. It was then that it became their purpose!
The reception that Karsyn's Krusaders received from fans, drivers, spectators, and racing sponsors on their inaugural trip to Super Nationals was nothing short of unimaginable. It was then that the family knew that this crazy idea to raise a few hundred dollars and donate it to Make-A-Wish was something that could actually change lives! It is impossible to put a dollar figure on the amount of money raised as a result of our annual visits to Super Nationals as the connections and networking go far beyond the sale of merchandise. However, nearly 1,300 pieces of merchandise have been sold!
It still amazes us all of the individuals who purchase merchandise, extended their support, and/or share their personal fight, loss, or triumph with us. It is truly a pleasure meeting and talking with so many of around the nation!
Southern New Mexico Speedway
When we received a call from Sarah Q. Stevens, track manager at SNMS in the spring of 2012, we never would have guessed that the basis of this organization as well as the personal connections that we were about to make would impact our family and Karsyn's Krusaders in such a permanent way. After our first visit, we left New Mexico at a loss of words as we processed the impact, memories, support, and relationships that resulted. It was just 6 short months later that we were invited back to once again share our mission with the track, fans, drivers, etc. However, this time we had the pleasure of partnering with the Gallardo family. Jacob Gallardo's J17 open modified took to the track in the fall with a full Kickin' Cancer's Butt One Lap at a Time design. The awe-inspiring care, concern, support and giving that the Gallardo crew, the track personnel, drivers, and fans shared will forever be at the top of our list of most memorable experiences and will be one of those significant experiences that changed the function of our organization. In just 8 days spread between two events, $20,000 was raised to help others affected by cancer. Thank you SNMS and the Gallardo Gang!
Karsyn's Krusaders on National TV
We never would have imagined that when this idea started in the fall of 2009 that we would ever be part of National television. However, it was just one year later that we were afforded that opportunity thanks to Mike Spaulding and the Dirt Knights reality TV show. On August 31st, 2010 Karsyn's Krusaders hosted "Dirt Madness" at Marshalltown Speedway in conjunction with the USMTS series and the filming of Dirt Knights. As a result our non-profit organization was featured in Episode 8, "On a Crusade" that aired on March 6, 2011.
As part of the premiere, Karsyn's Krusaders and over 200 of its supporters gathered at the Cedar Falls Pizza Ranch for the Dirt Knights Karsyn's Krusaders Viewing Party and Fundraiser on Sunday, March 6 from 4-8 to watch the show, enjoy great food, purchase 2011 merchandise and check out the silent auction. This gathering raised over $3,000 to help others affected by cancer. Special thanks to Dirt Knights, Cedar Falls Pizza Ranch, Sybesma Graphics and Curtis DeGroote for making this event a smashing success.
"Dirt Madness" in Marshalltown
Although the rain caused a few glitches in the pre-race activities surrounding "Dirt Madness", the Dennis Wayne Gang and Ms. Savannah DeGroote provided some great live music for the fans prior to the start of racing action! If you missed them, then you missed out! They sang their new song, "Speed" and it was spectacular!
The fan walk followed as Darin Duffy and JD Auringer took to the track in their Krusader Cars and led the walkers as they made "one lap" around the track in an effort to show how easy it is to make a difference and encourage others to join us in our mission to "kick cancer's butt one lap at a time". The "Dirt Knights" film crew was on hand gathering footage throughout the evening for their upcoming show which will air on Versus in January 2011. Our very own Krusader, Darin Duffy led the first 17 laps before he suffered mechanical problems taking him out of contention for the win. Three laps later, the race was called due to rain leaving Dirt Knights driver, Jon Tesch with the first place finish.
It was a very surreal experience to stand in the infield and look up into the stands and see all of the pink and black Karsyn Krusader shirts! A special thanks to each and every one of you for purchasing a shirt. A little goes a LONG way for those in need! Thanks Marshalltown Speedway for providing the venue for "Dirt Madness" and providing such wonderful support throughout the year!
It was a privilege to work with Mike, John and Chad of Dirt Knights! We greatly appreciate the opportunity Dirt Knights has provided to us as we work to share our story as well as the purpose and mission of Karsyn's Krusaders – Kickin' Cancer's Butt One Lap at a Time!
Season Ending Celebration with Pizza Ranch and Independence Motor Speedway
On August 28th, in conjunction with the Season Championship at Independence Motor Speedway, we provided cake to fans, drivers and track officials (courtesy of Dessa's Cakes of Independence). The festivities were in celebration of the one year anniversary of Karsyn's Krusaders, the completion of Karsyn's 2 ½ year battle with cancer, and the kick-off of Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. We also wanted to show our appreciation to Independence Motor Speedway, as it was the very first track to support Karsyn's Krusaders!
Everything began at Pizza Ranch in Independence, as Pizza Ranch graciously agreed to host a fund-raising event for us. Karsyn's Krusaders received 10% of all sales and received all tips which were collected during those hours too! The Karsyn's Krusader cars were on display until they had to head to the track!
At the track, JD, Darin and Justin displayed the cars behind the grandstands and signed autographs. Later in the evening, 5 cancer survivors were recognized as they were introduced with their favorite driver (one survivor per class), and were allowed to drop the green flag at the beginning of each respective race.
KWWL (local news channel) came out for the evening events and ran a great story following the races. To top it off, we sold 130 shirts and one of our "Krusaders" took home the win! Way to go Darin Duffy! Justin O'Brien finished second and JD Auringer finished fourth. What a night for our "Krusader" cars. This was a very special night for our family and for Karsyn's Krusaders as we had several family, friends, and fans in the stands and we truly did "Kick Cancer's Butt One Lap at a Time® on and off the track that night!
Carrie Rouse and Drt Trak Racing hosted and sponsored Karsyn's Krusaders Night at the Davenport Speedway. We sold merchandise, presented trophies to the feature winners and watched as fans had a chance to dunk drivers in the dunk tank. The event raised more than $1,000!
Karsyn's Krusader attended a "meet and greet" at Karl Chevrolet in Ankeny where we spent the afternoon with NASCAR drivers Schrader, Hornaday and Sauter as well as Ty and Austin Dillon, selling merchandise and spreading awareness as hundreds of race fans stopped by to participate in the event.
Karsyn represented the American Cancer Society at the Black Hawk County Relay for Life event as "honorary survivor" and walked her lap in honor of all who have fought this fight, and in recognition of all who have lost a loved one to the disease. Through the creation of our $1 challenge on Facebook we collected more than 350 one dollar bills from around the nation which were donated to the American Cancer Society. Together our supporters showed how small actions thoughts, deeds, and dollars can make a difference!
Karsyn's Krusaders participated in the "Racing for a Cure Night" at the Independence Motor Speedway helping to spread awareness and raise funds for the American Cancer Society. In just 15 minutes drivers collected $1,042 by walking through the stands with their helmets. The local Relay for Life committee was on hand selling merchandise and raising additional funds.
The American Legion in Ames, Iowa held its Second Annual Darlington Race Party and Fund-Raiser and donated proceeds to Karsyn's Krusaders. The night was full of door prizes, raffle prizes, silent auction items, race trivia, and of course watching the Darlington race. The event raised over $1,200, which will go a long way to helping worthy organizations!
Karsyn's Krusaders partnered with K98.5 and St. Jude to promote and raise funds for the annual Country Cares for St. Jude Kids Radiothon. In just two short hours, our "krusaders" called in and pledged more than $5,000!
Fans and supporters of Karsyn's Krusaders rallied and voted daily for nearly two weeks in response to a contest offered by Children's Miracle Network to donate a $10,000 game room to the top three hospitals in the nation. With the commitment of hundreds of voters from the racing community Karsyn's Krusaders was able to help and secure a game room for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.