Chili Bowl fans can attend an auction to benefit an area nonprofit
BY JOHN RITTENOURE World Correspondent
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
1/08/13 at 2:39 AM
Much has been written about the impact the Chili Bowl Nationals has on the Tulsa economy. But what really reaches the hearts of the community is the money raised by Chili Bowl fans and participants for the Parent Child Center of Tulsa each year.
For the past 20-plus years, the J.W. Hunt Charity Auction has raised money for the center. The auction is named for the late J.W. Hunt, a Florida businessman who was a benefactor of national sprint car racing. This year's auction takes place Friday at noon in the upper grandstands of the Expo Center.
Parent Child Center of Tulsa Executive Director Desiree Doherty said more than $185,000 has been raised for the organization through the auction.
Doherty said she's amazed each year at the outpouring from the racing community for their efforts which benefit Tulsa area families.
"It has meant so much to the Parent Child Center because they contribute directly to our programs and services," Doherty said. "Over 2,000 children have been able to be helped by the auction proceeds they have donated over the last 20 plus years."
"It helps us with all of our services," said Doherty. "The puppet shows in the schools, our home visits with parents of newborns and counseling and therapy of children that have been abused. Many of our services are enriched because of the donations they make."
Doherty has enjoyed the relationship she and her staff have developed with Chili Bowl co-promoter Emmett Hahn.
"It has been such a fun partnership," Doherty said of the auction. "Myself and some of my staff go out every year to the auction and thank people personally and let them know how their donation will be used. They are just a wonderful group of folks and they are so enthusiastic about helping out the local community.
"I think it is amazing when they come from all over the country to enjoy racing and benefit our community, too."
Hahn has never forgotten what moved him to begin this fundraising effort more than 20 years ago.
"Claudette Selph (wife of then County Commissioner John Selph) was running the child abuse center," Hahn recalled. "I met them years ago at the Tulsa Boys Home. We would give stuff to the Tulsa Boys Home at Christmastime.
"In 1979, I got burned and was in the burn center. I saw a little 9- or 10-year-old boy that was burned through child abuse, and I still remember it today. Claudette was involved in that, and I said, this is what we need to do.
"We have some guys from Kansas City (J.D. Cormack) that come down and put this auction together. It is all volunteer work, and they should get all the credit. They work on this all summer."
Hahn has visited the Parent Child Center and is happy to give back.
"They have had us over there a time or two," Hahn said. "It makes me feel better at the end of the day."
A total of 276 drivers from 33 states plus Australia, Canada, Finland and New Zealand, are in town for this year's Chili Bowl, which begins a five-day run Tuesday at the Expo Center.
Original Print Headline: Races help Parent Child Center
27th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals
At Tulsa Expo Raceway - quarter-mile clay oval track inside the Quik-Trip Center at Expo Square.
Tuesday: Warren CAT Qualifying Night plus VIROC V Invitational Race of Champions - Hot laps 5 p.m., racing starts at 6.
Wednesday: River Spirit Casino Qualifying Night - Hot laps 5 p.m., racing starts at 6.
Thursday: John Christner Trucking Qualifying Night - Hot laps 5 p.m., racing starts at 6.
Friday: Vacuworx Global Qualifying Night - Hot laps 5 p.m., racing starts at 6.
Saturday: Lucas Oil/General Tire Championship Feature Events
The 27th annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals start Tuesday at the QuikTrip Center at Expo Square. On Friday at noon, an auction to benefit the Parent Child Center of Tulsa will be held. Tulsa World file