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11th Annual Joey Coulter Charity 200 Race Weekend raises a new high just over $35,000.00 for 5 families !
12th ANNUAL JOEY COULTER CHARITY 200 RACE WEEKEND TO BE THE FINAL ONE
Orlando FL – Rick Bristol, who began the Charity 200 Race Weekend in 2006 at Orlando SpeedWorld, has announced that this year’s 12th Annual event will also be the final one. Bristol, who has tried to step away from the event the last couple of years, has been battling with this decision but through prayer and talking to various people feels now is the time to end the event.
Kim Scheffler, who has started C.A.R.S. Racin’ for a Dream Inc., was hoping to try to take all the events on but has realized how much work and time goes into putting together all of the things to be able do the events and raise the funds to help the families each year. “Kim has a lot to focus on for her right now in her life and while I know she will continue to raise funds and help children and families as she can, it is too much for one person to do all that is needed. I do not know how I have done it all these years, but I also know the toll it has taken on me, so I do not want that for Kim,” stated Rick Bristol.
Says Kim Scheffler: "I have known Rick Bristol for a long time. I can remember going and competing in his NASCAR Nana Memorial Go-Kart races in Orlando in the beginning of his charity years. He has always had a beautiful heart for helping others. Over the past years he has raised money but really the greatest thing he has done is he has made people smile and comforted the hurting. The amount of effort and time he has devoted to making a difference in others lives is inconceivable. This might be his last charity race but I am sure the good Lord has a lot more compassionate callings for him. I am honored that what he started many years ago will continue on serving and providing for others in need. I pray the Lord blesses him and his family in the upcoming years," she said.
Bristol notes that “After talks with Joey Coulter, he and I have decided to end the charity event after this year. Joey said he certainly does not have the time to commit to running all of it, and we agreed this was my passion and you just cannot pass that off and give it to someone else. Joey wanted to help the event all he could and has, but knows now what it takes as well,” Bristol adds.
"This race has been and will always be one of the best times of the racing season for me," says Coulter. "It's so much more than just a race. It is an amazing sight to see all of these intense competitors come together to support families that need help. With that on my mind every year, I always just feel different going into this race. Pretty much the entire year, I race for myself, my team, my family, and the race fans that watch us around the country. When we unload for the Charity 200 weekend, we are all there for the families. Over the years our family truck has been entered in the majority of the races. We have won, we have lost, and we have always had a great time tying to make a difference for the kids and their families. I am honored to be a small part of such a successful race weekend".
"What Rick and his entire family have done of the past twelve years is amazing," continued Joey Coulter. I got to know Rick through my wife Jessica's family and since then we have formed one of the strongest friendships that I have had. He and his family have made such a huge difference in so many people's lives that are involved and not involved with the CARS Charity. Rick gives me a lot of credit for the success over the last few years since putting my name on the race. However I will still argue that Rick and the people closest to him are the reason the race has been such a success. I am honored to have my name associated with Rick, his family, and the CARS Charity," he said.
Joey's parents, Joe and Susan Coulter have also been a big part of the event since its inception and had this to say: "The charity race has been a special event for our family. We started Joey's stock car career in the truck series. We met lots of great people and families as we raced around Florida. We have seen the event as a way to give back to the community for a series that gave so much to us. To have Joey's name associated with the event over the past few years makes us very proud of our son to give back to those in need. Rick Bristol and his family are special people, always working to help others. His commitment, energy and passion is what makes these events successful and he has put together a team of people that work together very well to support his efforts. We have been very lucky to be part of the charity race and to be able to support Rick's efforts".
Former racer and long-time track official Barbara Pierce and her husband Butch Pierce have been on the CARS Board of Directors for many years as well as working at each of the events held so far and Barbara has this to say: "Butch and I have enjoyed being on the Board for this charity and working with Rick Bristol. It has been a very eye opening experience to be involved with this charity and we are so glad we could be involved with helping these children and families. Rick has put his heart and soul into this charity and I think it shows," she said.
Rick Bristol's family has been an integral part of each and every charity race. His wife Carla states "When I think of CARS Racing for a Cause I think of compassion & unselfish giving. Over the years Rick and each person who has volunteered, given and donated has greatly displayed these qualities. While CARS stands for "Carla, Amanda, Rick and Sara," it is Rick's big heart and compassion that has led each event and the vision to grow bigger and better year after year!," she said.
"Of course when it comes to my thoughts on Rick there is so much I think of, however what comes to mind first is a grateful and loving feeling that others get to see his compassion and love for others that I have known for many years. That others see more of Rick than just a focused, hardworking lover of racing and the racing community. The Bible verse Rick chose for the charity says it best to describe Rick.... (Rick is the "some"!)... Jude 1:22 - And of some have compassion, making a difference," she continued.
From Rick's oldest daughter Amanda: "What has the charity meant to me? This charity has been not only a blessing to the families that we have had the honor of raising money for, but also a blessing to our family as whole. It has been amazing to be able to give to families that truly appreciate and deserve the help this charity has been able to provide. Seeing my dad's heart come to life in a physical form to help so many people has changed me in a way that I can never explain. My father is an amazing man! He gives all to everything that he does and this has certainly been no exception with the charity. He is loved by so many and I know that so many lives will continue to be changed by the work that has been done through CARS," she said.
Rick's youngest daughter, Sara Hahr, had this to say: "CARS, for me personally, has been the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than myself. It is a chance to be confronted with the need and hurt of many families and have the blessing to say that I will be a part of making a difference. The event is always a reminder to take the focus off of myself and my problems and look around me to the needs of many others. We can't do everything. No one can do it all or change everything by themselves, but we can all do something. If everyone does their something, great things happen together and a difference can be made. As someone who has done missions around the world, from Iceland to Africa, this organization has been the reminder and challenge that we are all called to do good and be a difference right here at home, in our backyards, to a neighbor or a stranger we meet in our day. Share kindness - show love - create a change - give back!"
About her dad, Sara had this to say as well: "It has been a joy and blessing to watch my dad lead the charge on these events. It's impossible to take a vision and passion that someone else has as your own, but myself and the incredible people who've worked alongside us all these years have all been blessed to share and be a part of my dad's passion. I've watched him give every ounce of himself every single year, to the point of sickness and exhaustion. Most people don't see how hard he labors or stresses or prays
over every event; his sole concern and desire being these families. Not everyone always agrees with my dad, and at a racing event, there are always calls to be made that won't make everyone happy. However, I think anyone who's ever been a part of the event can say without reservation that Rick Bristol has selflessly given so much to bless these families out of a pure heart full of passion for others. I also have to say that I am forever inspired by every single soul that has given their time over these years. The board members and countless volunteers are incredible people that I am so thankful to have met through the years. They deserve so much praise and recognition," she said.
Rick Bristol's older sister Debbie had this to say: "C.A.R.S Racing For A Cause, a foundation my brother, his wife Carla and girls Amanda and Sara started 12 years ago to help terminally ill children and their families is amazing. They give families a sense of relief in a stressful, chaotic, and heartbreaking time, that someone cares and wants to help with the mounting medical bills and other bills so they can be there for their child. My brother and his family work very hard every year to make this foundation
possible by having several money raising events. C.A.R.S., Rick and Joey Coulter have sponsored my son's Microd in the Microd race here in New York for the last four years and also the Tri-County Microd Club and Speedway racing season for the last three years. We have had events here to raise money for the children each year also. The kids are honored to be able to help these families. We are saddened to know that this is the last year for this amazing foundation. They have done amazing things," she said.
This from Rick Bristol's younger sister Becky Mullineaux: "My thoughts on the race and events over the years are I believe it to be amazing and I myself have donated towards it. The people and families it has helped is so heartfelt and such a blessing. Rick is an amazing person with a huge heart and has loved helping each and every one in need. I have seen firsthand what he had to do to bring it all together. He put so much of himself, his life and time into making it special. I'm so very proud to call him my brother and so very proud of all his accomplishments and how many he has helped. I wish there were a lot more people in the world like him," she said.
For the past several events, Auburndale Speedway has been the host track for the charity race and will be the venue for the final one in December. Track management had this to say: "When we were first given the opportunity to have the charity race at Auburndale we felt lucky. We have been honored to hold it here every year since. Rick Bristol is so sincere and committed to this cause. His family and the Board all put so much into helping the families that have so much need financially and even more importantly, emotionally. Rick has a huge, soft heart and even though this is his last charity event we know he will always be out there helping someone. Auburndale Speedway is proud to have been a small part of Rick's mission with CARS and we are lucky to have Rick and his team as part of the racing community at Auburndale Speedway. We wish him only the best as he moves from this mission onto whatever God has in store for him next."
For Rick Bristol himself, it's tough to walk away from something he holds so dear. “I want to just express to people that at 52 years of age, soon to be 53 and after doing fundraisers now for over 25 years, I am just worn out physically and emotionally. I care deeply for people and specially children, and I will continue to support and help other charity events that help them. I will continue to support cancer fundraisers because of how much cancer has taken from many I love and care for, but I just don’t feel I can continue to keep doing this. I am hoping people understand and do not feel like I am letting anyone down - that is important to me.” Rick emotionally stated.
Bristol continues: "This event has grown so much since that first event nearly 12 years ago. The first race was put together to help Tommy Hopkins, a nine-year-old boy with ALD. NASCAR stars David Reutimann and David Starr came to that first event which raised $6,500 for the Hopkins family."
During the course of other races, many other NASCAR notables have sent auction items, came to and even competed in the race itself. They include Blake Koch, Joe Nemechek, Larry McReynolds, the Wood Brothers, Richard Petty Racing, David Ragan and Ray Black,Jr. Since that first event the C.A.R.S. Racing for a Cause Inc. foundation was started and in these past eleven years has helped in some way 30 families and has now raised over $275,000. The race began with the trucks and after 11 events a total of 148 different Pro-Truck drivers have competed in the events. Over 500 different drivers in many divisions haveraced at the 11 events as well.
The event was moved from Orlando SpeedWorld to Auburndale Speedway five years ago and has grown tremendously since the move. It also took on the Joey Coulter name then as well.
Rick Bristol, his C.A.R.S. Board and all of the volunteers are vowing to work really hard to make this year’s event huge, and make the final event one for the memory books. They plan to invite all past families and sponsors to rejoin for one final event. All the drivers and people who have supported the charity race all these years are being asked to come and help them make it an amazing weekend for everyone. This year’s Pro Truck finale will be 212 Laps in honor of it being the 12th Annual and also to celebrate the final one.
"We will still be doing our 8th Annual “Making a Difference” Bowl-a-Raiser October 1st at the Cypress Lanes in Dundee FL, says Bristol. Two other events have also been announced.
Coming up in the next few days, April 7th-9th, there will be a Facebook-a-thon/Telethon event. Then December 2nd from 12-6 pm in the Auburndale City Park, it will be "Charity in the Park" with a car show and Cornhole tournament. There are also two other possible events being considered and they will be announced soon. All of the information can be found at www.carsevents.com.
At the CARS Board meeting on February 25, 2017, the Board voted to help three families with one other possible family to be included: Four year old Gianna, who was in a bad car accident and has to wear a halo and has several spinal issues to be taken care of. 16 year old Kaitlynn, who has helped at past events we have done, is now dealing with Scheuermann's disease effecting her back, spine and more. 27 year old Shaunna, a mother of four year old Blake and wife of a service man has a very aggressive Thyroid cancer and is going through intense chemo five days a week. CARS Racing for a Cause will have more information and photos of the families out throughout the months to come.
The format for the race weekend and the schedule, purses and more were also reviewed and have since been released and will be up on the website very soon.
“There have been so many great sponsors over the years and I want to go back through the list and thank them all in this year’s program. I want to invite them to join us one more time for this year’s final event," says Rick Bristol. "So many great folks have been there every year racing, watching, helping and giving... I am so thankful to all of them! They can never know how much it means to me because I cannot put it properly in words, but thank you so very much. When you put your vision and passion out there, then see it grow and others join and support and catch that vision, you just cannot put a price on that. It is an amazing feeling. I am very grateful to be able to have done this event for 12 years. I am also grateful to have been able to raise funds for children and families for over 25 years and it is something that I will treasure forever," Bristol stated.
There will be many details released over the months to come. There will be special events, awards and presentations along with fun for everyone who will be part of this final special event. You can keep up with it all at www.carsevents.com
as well. You can call Rick Bristol at 407-497-0448 if you want to be a part of, sponsor or have questions, or e-mail Rick at email@example.com.