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Kirkwood, NY — The Kirkwood Elks Club was the site of a formal announcement for a benefit planned for a longtime race official. The announcement was made during the third annual Daytona 500 party to benefit the Broome County Animal Care Council.
Al Robinson has been involved in racing for more than 40 years in various capacities, from track announcer at the original Shangri-La Speedway in Owego, NY to Public Relations Director at Dover International Speedway, Public Relations Director for NASCAR’s Busch North Series, to avid race fan and dedicated “race chaser.”
On May 11, 2011, Al suffered a debilitating stroke which has left him in need of 24 hour per day care and he is still confined to Elderwood Care Facility in Waverly, NY. He has been working hard through physical therapy, but still has a long way to go. He is determined in his words “to beat this thing” and has made tremendous progress. One of the longterm side effects of a stroke is the drain on a person’s savings. Al is now facing a significant financial hardship with bills mounting and credit cards reaching their limit. A group of Al’s friends here in the Southern Tier of New York have gotten together to get the ball rolling for what is anticipated to be a family event with all proceeds to go to Al Robinson so he can pay off his mounting debt.
Shangri-La II Motorspeedway in Tioga Center, NY is graciously donating the use of their facility for this effort, including the race track, the concessions, restrooms, lighting and PA systems, and the camping grounds at no cost and with no profit for them. All proceeds will go directly to Al to offset his care and living expenses. The original thought was to have the event coincide with the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series weekend at Watkins Glen International in August, but we have been made aware that the need is more immediate than anyone knew.
The Al Robinson Benefit will be a “Family Fun Day” utilizing a “Relay for Life” format, and will be held the afternoon and evening of Friday, May 11. There will be overnight camping and the event will conclude during the morning of Saturday, May 12. It will include activities to engage the kids, including a DJ; face painting; rides around the track in a pace car or racecar; a dunking booth; tricycle races on the track; a moon bounce; racing souvenir vendors; and more. Friday evening will feature family activities, including free camping with a community bonfire, down-hill races in homemade carts for the “bigger kids”; and a Test-n-Tune session at the Skyview Dragstrip. The fund-raising activities will include pace car rides around the track; a silent auction of various donated items; a live auction of racing artifacts; sponsored walking laps around the track; and donations. Saturday will conclude with the opening Shangri-La II Test-n-Tune day, so fans can see their favorite cars and drivers on-track for the first time this season.
Any donations of tickets and/or artifacts (racing memorabilia) to be auctioned may be sent/delivered directly to Shangri-La II Speedway, 114 Skyline Drive, Tioga Center, New York, 13845. Please mark “For Al Robinson Fund.” Any monetary donations may be sent by check to The Spalding Foundation, c/o Betty Sherwood, 1074 Sulpher Springs Road, Owego, New York, 13827. Please write “Al Robinson Fund” on the comment line. Those wishing to volunteer their time to help out with the event can contact Amy Stilson or Laura Kresge at Shangri-La II Motorspeedway. There will be more details forthcoming about the benefit and its participants in the near future.
The Al Robinson benefit committee can be reached by e-mail to one of the following members; Amy Stilson (email@example.com), Betty Sherwood (firstname.lastname@example.org), Lora Kresge (email@example.com), Tom Cummings (firstname.lastname@example.org), Jim Burleigh (email@example.com) or Greg Zyla (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Click here to see the benefit flier.
This release was written and contributed by Tom Cummings.