Thursday, April 22, 2010

Series To Benefit Wounded Soldiers & WWII Vets

K&N Pro Series East/West Challenge To Benefit Wounded Soldiers
And WWII Vets

NEWTON, Iowa - Iowa Speedway’s fourth annual NASCAR K&N Pro Series East/West Challenge race on Sunday, May 23rd will benefit soldiers wounded in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as raise funds to help Jasper County World War II veterans visit the Washington, DC memorial dedicated to the 20th century’s last great global conflict.

The track’s ‘Salute to Veterans’ event will feature special $20 race tickets that have been made available to two veterans support organizations, Operation First Response and Jasper County Honor Flight, through the Iowa Speedway Foundation. Ten dollars of each special race ticket sold will be retained by the veterans’ groups to fund their charitable work. In addition, hundreds of veterans from all military eras will be recognized during Opening Ceremonies for the race, including a large contingent of Iowa National Guard deploying to Afghanistan in July.

“We are delighted to honor the service of our military men and women, past, present, and future, on this important season-opening weekend at Iowa Speedway,” said Jerry Jauron, track President and Chief Financial Officer. “I encourage everyone to support Operation First Response and the Jasper County Honor Flight by purchasing the special race tickets, then joining with us to applaud our brave men and women in uniform, and enjoying an exciting NASCAR race that will kick off our 2010 racing season.”

Operation First Response (OFR) was established to provide critically ill and wounded military from Iraq and Afghanistan with financial and emotional assistance. To date, OFR has extended a helping hand to over six thousand wounded veterans across the country and over 100 in Iowa. Based in Culpepper, Virginia, OFR has volunteers across the country, with P. J. Sesker-Green of Grimes, Iowa serving as director of marketing and public relations. Sesker-Green joined OFR in 2006 after her nephew, Sgt. Daniel Sesker, was killed in action in Iraq.

“Iowa Speedway has given OFR a wonderful opportunity to raise much-needed funds to help our wounded Heroes,” Sesker-Green remarked. “We are proud and honored to be a part of this wonderful event. OFR would like to extend a huge ‘thank you’ and express our gratitude to everyone who has come forward to help, and especially to the fine people at Iowa Speedway.”

The Jasper Honor Flight committee was founded by Jasper County Treasurer Doug Bishop, and has been raising funds for several months to send a group of Jasper County World War II veterans to Washington, D.C. to view the monuments. Currently Bishop has 37 veterans and 13 guardians — either other veterans or medical caregivers — scheduled to fly out of Des Moines on May 27.

“The Jasper County Honor Flight Committee is excited to participate in the upcoming ‘Salute to Veterans’ event at the Iowa Speedway,” Bishop said. “Proceeds from the sale of the special race tickets we’re selling will allow 37 Jasper County World War II vets to travel to Washington D.C. to tour the monument that was erected in their honor. This was truly our greatest generation, and all supporters and donations are greatly appreciated!”

Operation First Response volunteers will be selling the special Iowa Speedway race tickets at the following places and dates: Dewey Ford in Ankeny, Saturday, April 24th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; Stew Hanson Dodge City in Urbandale, Saturday, April 24th from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm; Ron’s Dawg House in Des Moines Tuesday, April 27th from 5:30 to 9:00 pm; The Game Bar & Grill in Urbandale, Saturday, May 1st from 2:00 to 8:00 pm. OFR’s tickets may also be purchased through the mail by sending a Cashier’s Check or Money Order to: OFR, c/o P.J. Sesker-Green, P.O. Box 742, Grimes, Iowa 50111, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.

Jasper Honor Flight’s race tickets are available Monday through Saturday after 3:00 pm at the American Legion Hall, 1101 West 4th Street South in Newton, and at the Aleya Spa & Suites and Forbes Quick Print, both located on the Newton Courthouse Square. Interested parties are encouraged to call the Newton American Legion at 641-792-3353 for more information about the special Jasper Honor Flight NASCAR race tickets.

Located 30 miles east of Des Moines on Interstate 80, just south of Exit 168 in Newton, Iowa Speedway is entering its fourth full season of operation in 2010. Additional ticketing information and complete event schedules are available at the track’s official website or by calling the toll-free number, 800-RUSTY-GO (800-787-8946), 9:00 am to 5:00 pm week days (Monday through Friday), and 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturdays.

2009 Drivers' Autograph Session

Track Release
Photos by Denny Strimple

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