Why We Keep Hosting the Mr. Aruba Winternationals

I want to make a confession. There have been a few moments when the thought crosses my mind that even though we had a great time last year….all the laughs, goofs, great people, money raised….that maybe we shouldn’t have the party next year. We could just quit while we are ahead. Anyway, we could not possibly top what happened last year down in our basement. I’m retired now and the cash from the party would be a shot in the arm for the new racing budget. Heck, it was a good run. I can imagine guys at the track saying, “Remember those parties you used to have. Good times!”

Besides I’m one of the worst promoters of all time. I usually wait until the fall or end of the racing to pass out flyers. Sometimes I wear our event shirt hoping that someone would ask me about it…maybe recognize it and even jump in as another sponsor. The racing is over for the season. Now what? I’ll tell you what! It was hearing about Jeff Hurst that got me thinking of raising money for cancer. The stories I heard from that first year’s gathering have touched me in a profound way.

This year I heard about another story that confirmed my commitment to this cause. Carl James has one of the nicest, “bad ass”, best launching blue Dusters I’ve ever seen and is battling cancer. I did not know much about Carl before this; other than the time I was testing and thought I may be having fuel pump issues. Someone out of the crowd told me if I need a fuel pump he knew someone who was willing to take his pump off his car for me to try. He pointed toward that familiar blue Duster. My pump turned out to be OK. I did go over just to thank him for the offer, but no one was around. (If that was not you Carl, It makes a great story and I’m sticking to it.) Carl and his wife Terri are my role models and heroes. Thank you two for all you’ve taught me …like showing me the way to take on whatever the world throws at you with enthusiasm and gusto…like enjoying life’s adventures…like putting everything you have into your family, home and racing . This year we plan to give the party all we have. Will Carl and Terri be at this year’s event? I don’t know if their schedule will allow it. They may be too busy taking on challenges and enjoying life like it was their last day on Earth. Follow his adventures on Facebook and please keep him and Terri in your thoughts and prayers.

We are looking forward to the 2015 version of racing with the “all stars”. Everyone who comes or even makes a contribution is truly an “all star” in our book. That comes from our hearts, and remember all the lives you knowingly or unknowingly touch by being part of The Mr. Aruba Winternationals.