Racin for Rian this Saturday at I-35 Speedway
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June 21, 2017  |  by Rick Staley

The racing family in this immediate area has been supporters of various charities in the area for several years. Most recently to name a few there has been the Children’s Mercy Hospital Gas Card Drive to help families of children hospitalized at Children’s Mercy and the Noah’s Bandage Project which raised money for pediatric cancer research. This Saturday, June 24, at I-35 Speedway will be the 6th annual “Racin for Rian”. This event supports the St. Luke’s foundation.

In 2010, Bud and Amanda Wilson lost baby Rian, who was born 4 months early. They had her for a total of 30 hours. What they did not realize was Saint Luke’s hospital had a family fund, the St. Luke’s Foundation. This fund, has several areas in which one can donate, but in this instance the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit provided a package for the family of their lost daughter. Instead of bringing home a baby they brought home a package which included a lock of her hair, pictures of her in a dress which are donated by one of the nurses, and other items. This touched their hearts to the point they went to I-35 Speedway owners, Mike and Kyle Johnson, and asked to create a race in honor of their daughter. That race is “Racin for Rian”.

The Wilson’s have collected and donated over $14,000 to the Saint Luke’s Foundation Intensive Care Nursery fund in the last four years. They gain this money through sponsorships, through t-shirts sales, and through the drivers doing a collection in the grandstands. Racin' for Rian shirts are currently on sale please contact Paula Wilson Murphy at 660-635-0639. As a race fan purchasing a shirt is helping with this event.

Saint Luke's Foundation was founded in 1963 to support Saint Luke's Hospital's role as a private academic medical center with funding for medical and nursing education, research, charity care, and medical programs. Over the years, the Foundation's mission has expanded to include all Saint Luke's campuses in the Kansas City metro area—Saint Luke's East Hospital, Saint Luke's North Hospital (Barry Road and Smithville), and Saint Luke's South.

The Foundation also secures funding for medical and education programs at other Saint Luke's Health System facilities, including Crittenton Children's Center, The Children's SPOT, Midwest Ear Institute, Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences, and Saint Luke's Hospice. The Saint Luke's Employee Circle of Giving program gives employees an opportunity to participate in the mission of Saint Luke's Foundation by making charitable gifts through payroll deduction, last year more than $194,000 was donated by the employees through payroll deduction. If you cannot make the race, the St. Luke’s Foundation has a website where you can give, www.saintlukesgiving.org. If you elect this option please select a tribute gift in the name of Rian Wilson.

Here is a list of the USRA Modified feature winners for this event: 2012 and 2013 Ritchie Gustin, 2014 it was Kerry Davis, 2015 was Nic Bidinger, and last year Dennis Elliott took home the victory. Who will it be in 2017?

I-35 Speedway is located at exit 64 off Interstate 35. Make plans now to assist the racing community in supporting our local community. Gates open at 4:00 P.M., hot laps at 6:15 P.M., and racing begins at 7:00 P.M. Adults are $12, Seniors (62 and over) $10, Children 7 to 12 are $6 and younger than 7 are free. Just in case you have not seen it from our other press releases there is a bonus to attending this event, double features in the Holley USRA Stock Car, Pure Stock and Midwest Lightning Sprint classes.

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