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The first kick-off of the Elk's mobility scooter race was a big hit, and a good time had by all, in addition to raising more than $2,000 towards charity

PHOTO BY RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Autumn Engman, Racer #1, comes around the stretch in front, as Monty Chambers, #3 racer, is close behind. Engman won the first race, and Chambers won the second race.On an exceptionally hot afternoon on Saturday, Sept. 3, a crowd was gathered to watch the first annual Mobile Scooter Races at the Prineville Elks Lodge parking lot.

Eight excited racers lined up to begin the unique competition, which consisted of an assortment of scooters and contestants and a course that was lined by hay bales brought in by Don Porfily. The first annual scooter race was deemed a success by sponsors, contestants and audience members.

"It was amazing," exclaimed Autumn Engman, contestant and secretary for the Prineville Elks.

Engman utilizes a motorized scooter to get around, and she and some other members of the Elks Club came up with an idea to have an exclusive race for motorized scooters. They brought the idea to the Band of Brothers and had good support to move forward with the idea.

"We put it out there that we are going to do a race of just people who use the mobility scooters. It would go to charity," added Engman.

Engman indicated that many of the people with motorized scooters that they talked to about the idea felt that the fundraiser would be something they could participate in and contribute towards charity.

PHOTO BY RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Terri Hurner, pictured left.  flagged the race, and flashes a big smile as she waits for the race to begin."They can't do dances, they can't do marathons, and they felt like this was something that they could contribute in — all on an even keel."

Eight racers signed up, and more than 10 sponsors also came forward to support the event and the racers. Sponsors included Porfily of Ochoco Feed, Steven Kidder Insurance, Country Cascades, Cody Jesse Monuments, Ochoco Dental, S & M Ranches, Coldwell Bank (Brokers), Crabby's Bar & Grill, Sage Door and Dairy Queen. The event raised approximately $2,000, which will be donated toward charitable causes.

"Everyone had a good time," said Engman. "Each person had their own pit crew."

Racers included Monty Chambers, who was sponsored by Jesse Monuments; Autumn Engman, sponsored by Ochoco Dental; Art Rowe, sponsored by Coldwell Bankers; Pat Harnden, sponsored by S & M Ranches; Tom Doughtie and Ralph Jorgenson, sponsored by Crabby's Bar & Grill; Ken Lawler, sponsored by Sage Door; and Louise Stelhaug, sponsored by Dairy Queen. Other helpers who were major contributors in their time included Mike Rochelle, who is Exalted Ruler and was the announcer; Terri Hurner, who was the flagger for the race; Teresa Martinez; Jim Bates; John Slyter; Tony McWilliams; and John Novak.

PHOTO BY RAMONA MCCALLISTER - Louise Stelhaug, #5 racer, lines up for the first race. Terri Hurner, flagger for the race, gets the particpants ready on the race line. In the background, Mike Rochelle, Ecalted Ruler and announcer for the race, keeps the audience entertained with his helpers.Trophies were provided for the event, and Engman noted that everyone got a trophy. The winner of the first race was Autumn Engman, and Monte Chambers won the second race.

"I thought the nicest part of the whole thing was that everybody had the attitude of, 'This is for charity, let's have some fun.'"

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