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Thursday, 05 July 2012 11:56

Make A Wish Foundation gets some help from southeastern Alta. youth

Written by  Courtney Smith
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Nicholas Rhodes is one of three very young Brooks racers trying to help Make-A-Wish Foundation. Nicholas Rhodes is one of three very young Brooks racers trying to help Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Every child grips a dream of being something larger than life when they grow up. Some dream of being a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, or a celebrity, but not many children dream of something they can actually participate in when they are young.

Kajun Fitzpatrick, Emma Fitzpatrick, and Nicholas Rhodes, ages 5, 7, and 10, dream of becoming race car drivers, and they can start living their dream now. With Medicine Hat Auto Racing Association, these young people from the Brooks’ region are able to race cars at a beginner level.
Even better, these children are racing for a cause. All the profits from each race go towards the Make a Wish Foundation. The racer’s goal is to reach $2,500 by the end of the season, but so far fundraising has had a slow start.
“That’s our biggest goal of the season is to try to raise money for Make a Wish Foundation,” explains Jesse Fitzpatrick, father of Kajun and uncle of Emma. “So far we’re not doing as well as we’d like. We’re at $500 and want $2,500 by the end of the season.”
President of Medicine Hat Speedway, Rick Jondreau, also commends the children on their efforts of helping a good cause and their already building work ethic.
“It amazes me to watch kids that young racing and kicking cars sideways in a corner,” says Jondreau. “It’s the cutest thing you’ve ever seen. The kids love doing it, but they’re made to work on cars. They don’t just jump in the cars and go play; there’s a lot of work to it. It teaches kids really great values, other than the fact that they will be awesome, little drivers when they get their licences.”
On June 23rd, the three children raced in Medicine Hat. Nicholas Rhodes placed first, Emma followed in second, and Kajun was right behind her in third. Despite the difficulty concentrating, these competitors are already hold a drive to win.
“They all want to beat each other so bad,” laughs Fitzpatrick. “It’s really strong — the rivalry, but they all have a great time whether they win or lose.”
Five-year-old, Kajun also enjoys various aspects of racing in addition to attempting to beat his older cousin, Emma. Already at a young age, he’s decided his dream is to become a race car driver.
“I like going around in circles,” informs the shy, young man. “I like passing, and I like winning.”
For the Fitzpatricks, racing runs in the family both for entertainment and business. Jesse Fitzpatrick started racing at age 16, and his 81-year-old father has been racing for 30 years. Additionally, the family sells race cars so other children can experience the exhilarating entertainment. They also have a racetrack in their backyard for their children and their customers to test drive the cars.
“It’s just a family thing,” comments Fitzpatrick. “Our family is 100 per cent racing. We got people coming over here to test drive cars in my yard. So far, we’ve only sold one but had lots of interest.”
An important characteristic of the cars that these young children put their lives into is safety. With high costs to attention of every detail of safety, parents can trust their offspring are safer on a race track than on a sports field.

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